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Album Fri May 02 2014

Archie Powell & The Exports are Back in Black

Archie Powell & the Exports are no stranger to the indie rock music game. As a matter of fact, their third studio album, Back in Black, was released just this past week. Featuring Powell on the album cover, sulking amidst a dark backdrop but asserting a powerful gaze at the camera, the image projects how the group has grown and honed in on their sound over their years of making music together.

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The themes of the group's new album emerge with the very first song, aptly titled "Everything's Fucked." Powell screams and wails his way through the beginning of the song, distressed about the aspects of every day life within the very first verse. An angsty ballad, the song propels the album forth with a vengeance. This isn't their first album, Skip Work; while still amazing, the material featured on this record is more summery and jubilant, with a darker yet more accessible tone. The subjects are wrought with authenticity while focused within their angst and pain, and seemingly, I identify with the songs more closely than previous material.

"Tattoo on My Brain" lightens the mood a bit and ushers in Archie Powell & The Exports' signature sound. However, the production is tighter and more cultivated than previous work. "Lean" promotes the further angsty feel to their sound, which I definitely wasn't anticipating. However, I didn't hate it, I welcomed it. "Scary Dream" took a detour to the oldest Archie Powells & The Exports material, the beachy, sunshine sound that we are accustomed to, however it is still darker and more reminiscent of a vengeful tempo, akin to that of Arctic Monkeys or the Hives.

"Electrocute My Heart" emerges as my favorite tune on the album. "Electrocute my heart babe / Love can't save my soul," croons Powell, who sings with such an urgency that it is easy to believe whatever messages he is imparting to us listeners, more empowered with each lyric. His sardonic wit within the lyrics makes songs accessible and authentic. "Rodeo Crush" is an unanticipated twist, as it features mainly soft instrumental layering with hushed vocals. After the frenetic nature of the album, it is a welcomed cool-down and a deeper look into the intimate sound at the group's core. However, the album picks up again with punchy ballad "The High Road," which makes me want to stand in a crowded music venue and sing along at the top of my lungs forevermore. The album appropriately closes out with "Mambo No. 9," with Powell screaming in the backdrop of a dark and quick-paced instrumental backing.

The great news is, you can hear Archie Powell & The Exports' new album for yourself live, tonight at Subterranean, for the official album release show for Back in Black. They are no doubt about to bring an electric live performance, presenting listeners with the intense energy present in their new release and then some. As I've heard their sound mature and grow, this album definitely moves forth as their most ambitious and eccentric endeavor yet, one that is welcomed and revered.

Archie Powell & The Exports play Subterranean on Friday, May 2. The 17+ show begins at 8pm, with tickets costing $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Subterranean is located at 2011 W. North Avenue, (773) 278-6600.

 

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Lollapalooza Wed Jul 30 2014

How to Make the Most of Your Lollapalooza Weekend

By Transmission Staff

It's not enough to just say you're going to three days of music in Grant Park, you really have to plan your attack. After years of Lollapalooza experience, here's our fresh takes on how to best rock the fest.

Read this feature »

Blogroll

  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
BackStage
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
ChicagoMusic.org
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
CHIRP
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
Daytrotter
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Do312
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
Gridface
The Hood Internet
Innerview
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pitchfork
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Songs:Illinois
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock

  Venues:

Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
B.L.U.E.S
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Constellation
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
FitzGerald's
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Martyrs'
Mayne Stage
Metro
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Rosa's
Schubas
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Smartbar
Subterranean
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Township
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Atavistic
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Hozac
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records


Events

Thu Jul 31 2014
Spin's Lollapalooza Kick Off Party w/Interpol, Gemini Club & Wildcat! Wildcat!

Thu Jul 31 2014
Neon Marshmallow @ Burlington

Thu Jul 31 2014
School of Rock Allstars @ Beat Kitchen

Fri Aug 1 2014
Kodaline & Split Single @ Schubas

Fri Aug 1 2014
Neon Marshmallow @ Burlington

Fri Aug 1 2014
Lollapalooza

Sat Aug 2 2014
White Denim @ Empty Bottle

Sat Aug 2 2014
Neon Marshmallow @ Burlington

Sat Aug 2 2014
Matthew Sweet @ Space

Sat Aug 2 2014
Lollapalooza

Sun Aug 3 2014
Neon Marshmallow @ Burlington

Sun Aug 3 2014
Great Midwest Uke Fest @ Chief O'Neill's

Sun Aug 3 2014
Lollapalooza

Mon Aug 4 2014
Maps & Atlases and Wooden Shjips @ Downtown Sound

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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Editor: Anne Holub, anne@gapersblock.com
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