Chicago's Deeper make music that recalls in some obvious ways that of peers EZTV and Omni. That said, there's a robustness at work on the band's self-titled debut record, out on Friday via Fire Talk, that suggests a firmly emotional engagement with this sort of material, rather than just a perhaps ironic dabbling in the forms of forebears like Television and Talking Heads.
Opener "Pink Showers" twists and turns like stuff from Field Music, while the more forceful "Should Be" suggests some odd pairing of a young, yelping David Byrne with the instrumentation of The Voidoids behind him. The comlex "Transmogrified" offers up a spry XTC-like interplay between guitars and bass and vocals that is positively exhilarating, even as the down-tempo "Message Erased" made me think of both Slanted-era Pavement as much as it did Nineties Fall stuff. Still, for all that talk of those comparison points, there's a real sense of heart here as the song swells that brings a certain lushness to what would otherwise be a too brainy brand of art-rock. The players here -- Nic Gohl (guitar and vocals), Michael Clawson (guitar), Drew McBride (bass), and Shiraz Bhatti (drums) -- attack this material with a real sense of mathematical purpose even as flashes of sweetness, or a warm melodic hook, pop up throughout the post-rock found here on Deeper.
Deeper is out on Friday via Fire Talk.
More details on Deeper via the band's official Facebook page.