Intense, surreal, remote, dynamic. Come along with us as we chronicle the adventures of the soul through psychedelic, drone, noise, experimental, pop music based around Chicago bands in particular and local bands everywhere.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Intelligence

In The Red Records had an excellent 2009. Between the crazed debut LP of Austin R&Bers The Strange Boys, the fuzzy pop of the Vivian Girls, and the crisp soul of Reigning Sound, among what seems to be a boatload of other releases, the label proved to be both eclectic and deep with its 2009 releases. Resulting from this gamut of releases is a fine definition of the sonic range and possibility of lo-fi music, an approach to rock that falls into and out of favor with my ears as frequently as the sun rises and sets. Mostly, I find that lo-fi pop music continually challenges my artistic sensibilities, in the sense that it straddles high-art structure with low-art spirit.

Until last week, when my close friend lent me his copy of The Intelligence, those three In The Red releases I listed were my favorites. Little did I know that I would find a perfect summary of the entire set of 2009 In The red releases with the Fake Surfers release by The Intellgience. ITR 169 clamors along with pristine pop songs baked in uneven sound production, resulting in a delightful interplay between instruments that frequently drop in and out, surrounded by lyrics that are funny, absurd, or just plain eye-opening through their vocal delivery.

Throughout this release, the band combines the high art sensibility of the most crisp, short pop structures that anyone could ask for, with the darkest, zaniest, off-kilter production that one could desire. I find this clash, in my mind, in my ears, and in my emotional response, to be challenging and artistically fruitful.

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