"The Cloak & Dagger Club" CD EP (Sinister)
Oh sure, it starts off nice - all ringing guitars that portend nothing but Grade-A rock 'n' roll in a big fucking way - but like most of the mercifully short dates I've had here, it takes a screeching turn for the worse after a few seconds - literally. After about 20 seconds of guitar work which raised my hopes, it dropped into an underwhelming impersonation of, alternately, The Get Up Kids (only this time with distortion) and Avril Lavigne. I'll cop to owning GUK albums and I'll also cop to throwing this unoriginal piece of shit into the sell pile. Before I moved to central Illinois, I had the impression that it was a hotbed of indie activity; that - since Polyvinyl was so damn close, since Chicago produced some of the greatest bands to ever rock the face of the Earth (Pegboy, Naked Raygun and The Arrivals to name only a few) - the scene would rule. After some serious disabusing (I actually considered filing assault charges when my erroneous ideas were so brutally kicked to the curb), I've realized that this place is a hotbed of bandwagons. I don't care if these guys just recorded for Victory - they still sound like every other shitty emo band with rockist tendencies and stadium show dreams. They still make Night Ranger and Poison seem to have the humanist insight and attention to poignant detail exhibited by Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. And with that in mind, is it any wonder that I've been listening to Leadbelly and Lonnie Johnson?