I Lost Control @ Darkroom, 3/25/11

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I got a chance to see what is probably my favorite Chicago band last night. I Lost Control took the stage midway between The Vindits and The Moves. I’ve seen ILC a couple of times before, and they did not disappoint last night.

The Vindits opened up, and I have to say, it’s gotta be tough to be the first band onto a bar stage. The crowd is still at the beer-and-conversation level of focus and energy. Except for your buddies, you can assume everyone is there to see the other bands. (Case in point: me.) How do you move the crowd to the totally-into-the-music level? Well, the Vindits tried to do it with a really solid surf-guitar/swamp rockabilly sound. I thought they hit it musically, but something was missing. First, they played five or six songs, and every one was at about the same tempo. Nothing was exactly downtempo, but nothing made me sit up and take notice. A little variety would have increased the energy level. Secondly, the vocals just missed. I thought the lead singer’s voice – basic indie tenor – was mismatched. The could have used a Johnny Cash bass, or (as the music put me in mind of the Cramps) the late, lamented Lux Interior.

I’ll discuss ILC in a minute. They were, after all, the real reason I went. But first, the headliner: The Moves. I try to subscribe to the philosophy that if you can’t say something nice about someone… oh, who am I kidding? No I don’t. And really, I don’t have much nice to say about the Moves. I don’t have much that isn’t nice to say either, because frankly, I kind of tuned them out and we left partway through their set. The band played straight-up power rock, and the lead singer had that Geddy Lee/Dennis DeYoung ultra-high tenor thing going. Basically, they sounded like they were trying to be Journey, and that does nothing for me.

So, ILC. I will tell you right now, this band hits all the right buttons as far as I am concerned. You can hear influences from Joy Division (“Runaway Train,” “Denial,” and of course the band’s name) to Devo to Talking Heads to Bauhaus and to just about every other band I loved in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The lead singer, Stevo Anderson, has a baritone to bass-baritone sound reminiscent of Ian Curtis or Lou Reed (or the aforementioned Lux Interior). Complex beats and great bass and guitar work always get me, and these people have those in spades. Also, how can you not love a Chicago band that does a song about Jon Burge? My only complaint: I want new songs. They have a 5-track EP out (and more tracks to listen to at their website), and I will never get bored with the tracks that I know… but MOAR PLEEZ kthxbai.

Final verdict:

The Vindits: Close. Really solid music, but they need a little more energy and a different vocal sound.

The Moves: Meh. Not my thing.

I Lost Control: Excellent. Absolutely right on and deserving of all accolades. I hope to see great things for this band.

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