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Apr 11

Album Review: JSI

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“The Laureates’ second album Spells is a witches brew of feel-good indie pop.  The songs reflect a generous love for decades of music, from sixties psychedelia to classic rock to punk.  This album does what it should, casts a spell on a dreary world, reanimating it with music.

As someone who has trouble waking up on the right side of bed, I recommend this as morning music.  Each song, from the anthemic ‘Changes’ to the refreshing ‘Life of Leisure’ to the angular ‘Don’t Lose You’re Cool’  has a high octane, bouncy, enthusiastic vibe that will give you at least enough adrenaline to make your morning coffee.  Not only will the energy of the album help you wake up, but it will stimulate your faith that the day has good things in store for you, by harkening back to all your favorite bands from classic favorites like the Beatles, The Kinks, The Velvet Underground, David Bowie to more modern bands like The Pixies, Spoon, Guided by Voices, Interpol .   So wake up sleepyhead.  If these Chicago can wrap that long history of good times in one sunshiney package, you can at least muster the energy to stumble from bed to the shower!”

Apr 11

MP3 Premier: Alarm Press

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“You might recognize one of The Laureates‘ multi-instrumentalists, Adam Penly, as a member of fellow Chicago rocker Paul Cary‘s band.

The song featured here, ‘Don’t Lose Your Cool,’ appears on his other group’s upcoming full-length album, Spells, which was recorded “old school” on an 8-track tape machine. It shakes off any traces of the harsh Midwest winter during which it was recorded and comes out swinging with a summery pop-rock riff replete with resonant harmonizing.

In 2010, The Laureates undertook a year-long project, recording and releasing a cover each month as part of its ‘Year of The Covers’ experiment. All of the tracks, including covers of Dinosaur Jr.,  Yo La TengoWire, and more, are available for download on the band’s website.”

Apr 11

Album Review: Roctober

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“It’s ironic they named this record ‘Spells,’ because when I reviewed their last release I spelled ‘Laureates’ wrong so many times that I’ve been so anxious spellchecking this time that I missed the first two songs. But I will definitely go back and listen, because these bouncy yet vaguely ominous pop gems are spelled “A-W-E-S-O-M-E!”



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