I have to admit something. I've lived in Chicago for nearly three years now, and I still haven't listened to any local music. I usually arrive late to concerts when I know a local band is warming up. I would even go so far as to say that I have avoided the local scene here. That all changes now.
I've been listening to Golden Birthday's "Infinite Leagues" pretty steadily ever since Andrew handed it to me at our Meet-Up last week at Billy Goat Tavern. I knew absolutely nothing about the band when he handed it to me, and now (due to their major lack of web presence) still feel as if I know very little. But, the music. The music is simple, yet highly engaging. There is an honesty involved that many musicians try to stray away from that Golden Birthday gleefully embraces. Blending together drum loops and guitar hooks that aren't much more advanced than a high schooler with a 4-track, the music somehow finds a way to work. Synthesizers help. As do Ryan Sullivan's lyrics.
They follow the same formula as the music composition of keeping it simple but manage to hit some pretty high points. For instance, the second track on the album is "Hold onto Love". The lyrics (the track starts out with "Wasn't it so great, love? Wasn't it so great? Wasn't love so great, love? Wasn't love so great?") at first seem too easy to work. They simply use the word, "love" over and over and mix it all around the same sentences. But, if you combine it with a beat straight out of next Saturday night and a little heartbreak, you have a great anthem for anybody who wishes they could forget that special somebody who wasn't...and simply cannot. The overwhelming theme of the album seems to be love, actually. Lost love, new love, loving love, these guys really dig it. Still, there's something to be said for that in today's depressingly cold weather.
This being the band's first effort, there are obviously some polishing issues. They could use a bit more experience and time in the studio, but there's no reason to hold that against them. They're surely worth the $8 that you'd have to pay to get the album from their brand new record company, Rainbow Body Records. They'll also be playing November 25th at the Empty Bottle, opening for El Guincho. Tickets for that show are $10. Check out the band's MySpace page here.