Chain, Chain, Chain

August 14, 2012

Ian Svenonius is forever devoted to the idea of teen-rock rebellion, which might seem odd for a well-read man in his 40s. And since he’s been mining aesthetics pulled from this garage-rock cave since 1988, you could start taking his music for granted. But Svenonius’ endless ability to spelunk old rock should be celebrated — from his first hardcore roar in local legends Nations of Ulysses to the gospel-infused rah-rah of follow-ups the Make-Up, the psychedelic freak-out of Weird War and the primal thump of his current band, Chain and the Gang.

Chain and the Gang’s second album, “In Cool Blood,” was recorded in mono because, “This is single channel rock ’n’ roll — like you’ve never heard before,” according to liner notes. But you have heard it before: It’s bratty, 1960s proto-punk mixed with raw, simplistic R&B. However, Svenonius’ wit and showmanship always elevate his material above homage or parody, even when he walks the line between the two.

On this LP, Svenonius’ showstopping squeals are equaled by co-singer Katie Alice Greer’s sassiness. But as he does in every group, Svenonius rattles the chains in this gang.

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