Posts Tagged ‘Present Tense’

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Chicago trio FACS have announced their fourth album, which is titled “Present Tense” and will be out May 21st via Trouble in Mind. The title would also make a great descriptor for the band’s style of bleak, tightly wound post-punk, but this album marks a progression into slightly more approachable music.

The album was made at Chicago’s Electrical Audio before and during the pandemic, the seeds of which were planted with “Alone Without,” FACS’ 2020 Adult Swim single. “Alone Without was the first song we recorded and we really built it in the studio” says singer-guitarist Brian Case. “Alianna [Kalaba] and I played different instruments, and I think that freedom informed how the other songs developed. All the lyrics were random phrases on a big sheet and were put together as the songs took shape, so I feel like I was collecting these thoughts and trying to figure out how to process them as a big picture vs making complete ideas in individual songs.”

“Strawberry Cough” is about the world of interiors, and the line between where influences come together or split off. Going into record stores and having conversations with strangers, learning about new sounds, and finding something I’ve been looking for has been sorely missed over the last year. Seeing records spread out all over the house while working on Present Tense made me wonder how these different eras and sounds found their way into our music. I spent a lot of time trying to find the visual / emotional connections between seemingly unrelated works, and walking that back into my subconscious when writing. Sometimes the video is a visualization of the words or music, and sometimes it’s just some random themes you notice while refiling your record collection.”

The new single is “Strawberry Cough” which is the friendliest face FACS have put forward yet. It’s still pretty dark, though, with Noah Leger’s massive drums leading the charge. Taken from the Chicago band’s fourth full-length album “Present Tense”, out May 21st, 2021 via Trouble In Mind Records (www.troubleinmindrecs.com)

Shoes box

Having created a grassroots buzz with their homemade proto-power pop classic Black Vinyl Shoes, Illinois band Shoes duly attracted major label interest, and they signed to Elektra Records in early 1979. Over the next three years they released a triptych of classic pop albums – Present Tense, Tongue Twister and Boomerang – and a clutch of Wurlitzer-worthy seven-inch nuggets that should have catapulted them to fame, fortune and all manner of related excess. Sadly, however, they never quite made the leap from critics’ darlings to Top Thirty success, and the band were obliged to settle for enduring cult status as power pop avatars. But while rock-star level fame and fortune never quite came their way, Shoes do have the considerable consolation of knowing that their body of work has stood the test of time far better than many of their more commercially successful contemporaries.

This 4-CD anthology of the band’s recordings for Elektra, fleshed out with a swathe of pre-album demos, “lost” songs, alternative versions and live tracks dating from the same period, is a veritable smorgasbord of perfect pop from a time when Shoes were genuine contenders for rock’s glittering prizes. Housed in a stylish clamshell box, Elektrafied contains a 32 page booklet that features rare photos and a new 10,000 essay on the band’s adventures during their sojourn with Elektra Records.