From the subversive degentrifying lyrics and opening, explosive notes, of "Devitalize" to the guitar squeals and funky soul of album instrumental "Fairy Dust," and punky closer "Waited Too Long," Chain & The Gang continue to push limits and KILL THE MACHINE! This Washington, DC-based, group with Ian Svenonius at the helm (the live band also features Betsy Wright of Ex Hex), gives us a road map to anti- and pro- well, almost, everything. Break the norms! The album recording features "the snarled sounds of Chris Sutton on bass, Brett Lyman on electric guitar, Fiona Campbell on the drumkit and Katie Alice Greer on microphone and Svenonius, aka "Chain," as lead chanter. The record was recorded in Portland and mixed by Brendan Canty in Washington, D.C." (Dischord).
Attending at the chapel of Svenonius and company (a veteran author, talk-show host, artist and musician, see: Nation of Ulysses, Weird War, The Make-Up, Soft Focus, etc.) guarantees a mind-expanding experience beyond the inside of a simple 'square' thought. "You can choose," he pleads on "I'm A Choice"; choose to, or choose to not, have fun, fight the norm - choose to be you - but don't make someone into something they're not. "I'm a choice, not a child...".
This is the fourth full-length for Svenonius under the Chain & The Gang name, with albums including 2009's "Up With Liberty... Down With Chains!", 2011's "Music's Not For Everyone", and 2012's "In Cold Blood" as well as two singles that were all released via Olympia's K Records. For the new album, this will be the first released on Svenonius' own imprint "Radical Elite" with distribution via Dischord in the US and Fortuna Pop! in the U.K. The album is available for pre-order with a US release date of May 6th, 2014.
The great thing about Svenonius' music is always the big mix of mod-garage sound; proto-funk and soul-punk mix at a party with elements of sensational jazzy beats and call-and-response at every turn. "Minimum Rock N Roll" lands somewhere in the middle of the sexual ("Never Been Properly Loved", "Got to Have It Every Day") and the sociopolitical 'chain-gang' revolution of all-time parties ("Devitalize", "Crime Don't Pay", and "What R U In Here For?"), and if "Mums The Word" tells us anything--it's to keep it a secret, but to go forth with a promise to shake up the 'system' before it can be reborn again, 'babies, 'cause this sound is a movement.
Title track "Minimum Rock 'N' Roll" and "Fairy Dust" serve as the album's instrumentals, each as a kind of anti-commercial breakdown for the listener to get funky or chill out. If you find yourself thinking too much during the album, the best thing to do is just let loose--throw on the ragged-guitar crunch of a tambourine-beat track like "Curtain Pull" or break outta jail (Work or school being a bother? Let this album cool your jets) and jam out to our favorite funky-punk and psych-laced track, "Crime Don't Pay," on repeat. Just turn it up... and get down! The album "Minimum Rock 'N' Roll" is for you--but it could work for friends or frenemies, alike: it's for sweat-soaked and boozy record player nights, and estranged and solitary days. Let the minimum rock 'n' roll blow your mind off its chains!
Minimum Rock 'N' Roll tracklisting:
2. Never Been Properly Loved
3. I'm A Choice (Not A Child)
4. Stuck In A Box
5. Got To Have It Every Day
6. Fairy Dust
7. Mum's The Word
8. Crime Don't Pay
9. What R U In Here For?
10. Minimum Rock 'N' Roll
11. Curtain Pull
12. Everything Worth Getting Is Gone