Chain & The Gang - Devitalize

Rally for more snake-hipped disorder as Ian Svenonius, rock’n’roll radical behind Nation Of Ulysses, The Make-Up, Weird War etc. returns with his current outfit, Chain & The Gang, whose fourth album aims not just to restate their disdain for the industrial processing of music, desire to dismantle capitalism and end material monism but to spawn a new genre, ‘crime rock’. Which sounds like a kind of lean, garage-punk blues with anarchic tendencies of a kind definitely not available in Urban Outfitters.

“Lean, garage-punk blues with anarchic tendencies.”

To wit, the first track from Minimum Rock N Roll (out on Fortuna Pop in April) crunches in with impeccable musical economy, a grimy R&B groove propelled along by cuffed drums and Svenonius’ sultry vocal laying out the terms of social dissemblance in a pouting drawl: “Yeah you do construction / Well I do destruction.”

Svenonius’ gift is to smooth the path of his lyrical invective with shrewd, raised-eyebrow camp and he’s in startlingly vigorous form here. “I want to devitalise the city / I want to devitalise the air”, he wails, before going on to “Rip/bite/shred/tear/just about everywhere.” While Katie Alice Greer channels the Girls In The Garage with whispered backing vocals: “keep it down/keep it down” before a howling guitar coda and the Greer snapping, “Just go home.” By which point you feel compelled to quit work and enjoy anti-consumerist rancour at its most joyous.

A necessary harnessing of social media for the purposes of non-trivial communication can be found here, along with details of Chain & The Gang’s European tour in May/June.

Meanwhile, listen to Devitalize...