The Chicago Reader dropped a review of Spells today in it’s Local Release Roundup. Here’s what staff writer Miles Raymer had to say about it:
“It makes me happy to see the ironic cover song begin to lose popularity with indie rockers. The concept’s condescending and full of quirk-for-quirk’s-sake bullshit and everything else that makes people hate hipsters—not to mention it’s completely tapped out humor-potential-wise. I’m guessing that not a single one of the dozen covers the Laureates recorded last year to give away on the Internet was ironically inspired. Their sources—Velvets, Yo La Tengo, Soft Boys—brought eccentric sonic visions to bear on sweetly simple pop structures, which is pretty much what the Laureates are up to, and if the remakes’ fealty to the original material laid the Laureates’ influences bare the group didn’t seem too embarrassed by it. The covers did well by their originators, and the new LP Spells does a good job of living up to their legacies. Recorded to an eight-track tape machine, the ten songs are noisy but uncluttered, bringing enough dirt and echo into the mix to keep things interesting but leaving the heavy lifting to the songwriting itself. As far as that goes, I’d put money on the wager that R.E.M. and Big Star were up for consideration for the covers project at one point or another, and although none of the songs jump out as obvious classics for the ages, I’m sure a lot of bands with similar inclinations could improve their shows by adding one to their set list.”
Jump over to the original article to check out the rest of the local releases for this week.
Our friend Seth at S and B Photography took a few shots at the last Cincinnati show. Go like what he does, and check out the rest of the set here: S and B Photography
Thanks to Richard Giraldi at Loud Loop Press for this nice review of Spells. Glad you guys like it!
Go here for the original »
‘On their second full-length, Chicago’s The Laureates stick to their strengths – rough-and-tumble garage rock with a power pop sheen. The songs on Spells are energetic and wild, but the band never lets things get too out of hand and know when to pull back. The result is crunchy guitars and punchy rhythms in quite an accessible format.
As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The last time The Laureates released original material was in the form on the snaggy 2010 EP No Kontrol. Its raw production worked for the most part, but occasionally would get in the way of the band’s more melodic moments.
On Spells, everything is a lot more even keel. Chad Preston and Adam Penly’s guitars are still upfront but don’t bleed through your speakers. Instead, they fiercely jangle while drummer Pete Gray keeps things steady with his tight pocket playing and bassist Crawfie Ward’s weaving grooves give the low end some real bounce.
There’s toothed brit-pop (“Robbers”), swinging, whiskey swelling numbers (“All Eyes Open”) and even earnest, soulful folk-punk takes (“Changes, Etc.”). But perhaps the most intriguing songs are the ones where you can pinpoint influences in a familiar yet oddly satisfying way.
“Don’t Lose Your Cool” opens with a Spoon-like guitar waltz that’s as recognizable as it is catchy. “Monitor Me” features revved-up mid-60′s riffage, and Spells concludes with a psychedelic nod to “House Of The Rising Sun” with “Moon Bitch.”
Maybe most importantly, The Laureates brim with confidence on the record, which aids the songs in sounding organically created rather than forced. And it pays off as Spells is a very solid and focused set of garage-pop tunes.’
Hey people, we’re back with another one on the heels of our record release party at the Beat Kitchen last week. We’ll be playing with two bands we’re really excited about – Sleeper Agent (KY) and Sergio Leone (Chicago). Should be a good Monday night. We hope you can make it out!
Monday, June 27, 2011
Schubas, Chicago, IL
w/ Sleeper Agent, Sergio Leone
RSVP on Facebook here »
Read the original here »
“Hailing from Chicago, The Laureates follow in the shape of other bands from that city like The Ponys. Writing pop songs that stray, displaying a great willingness to dive into the experimental/psychedelic realm but not in an overly aggressive way, The Laureates are a band making moves and gaining a presence in the larger American rock underground, appropriately so as they release their second album Spells later this month. This show will be one of three release parties that the band will have for the album (the other two are in Chicago and Cincinnati), and The Laureates will be joined locally by Sarah Cram & The Derelicts and Bats in the Belfry. Fans of more straight-ahead rock/pop bands that aren’t afraid of progression should find something that they like in The Laureates. A sample of The Laureates’ music can be found at the Free Music Archive.
Townies should note that the Laureates’ guitarist Adam Penly is an Iowa City alumni who was in Alto Heceta. Adam also plays with former Iowa Citian Paul Cary.”
Our friends Sara Jean, Brian, and Joey have been hard at work on a video for “Robbers”. We expect it’ll be ready soon, but we wanted to give you a little sneak peak. We’re super excited for this. Thanks guys!