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Preview Sun Sep 09 2012
In each of the last two years, Chicago's California Wives have had releases (Affair and Tokyo) that, in hindsight, hinted at what to expect from their debut album Art History. The indie/new wave sound that they're harnessing is loaded with dazzling pop hooks, blistering rhythms and a catchy edginess. In the past, I've compared them to a more synth-driven Pains of Being Pure at Heart. It wouldn't be off to say there's a little Wild Nothing in there, too. With Claudius Mittendorfer (Interpol, Lower Dens, Neon Indian, etc.) behind the boards, they've punched up some of the highlights from the earlier EPs. A biting "Blood Red Youth" kicks things off and leads into "Tokyo." But it's not just older songs with extra oomph that make Art History a winner, especially with the stylish slow burn in "The Fisher King." It may not be the perfect debut, but it shows California Wives' development and capitalizing on potential they've shown over the last couple years.
California Wives headline Lincoln Hall for Art History's release show on Wednesday, the 12th. Later in the month they'll be on tour with Stars and Diamond Rings. (Unfortunately, that tour doesn't stop in Chicago.) Santah and Deserters open. The show starts at 8PM. It's 18+ and $10. Lincoln Hall's at 2424 N Lincoln.