THE INTERIORS "The Interiors" 54-40 or Fight

Friday, September 26, 2008

THE INTERIORS"The Interiors"54-40 or Fight

THIS CHICAGO TRIO'S full-length debut rocks with an easy ferocity. As their un-ironic name and geometric cover art indicate, the Interiors build solid, self-contained songs, and there are few sounds on the album that don't come from a guitar, bass, drums or voice.

Guitarist, lead singer and songwriter Chase Duncan is clearly the leader of the band, but the three are a tight combo, anchored by the understated play of bassist Collin Jordan and the swirling, changing drum lines of Brian Lubinsky.

The guitars stay at the top of the mix, but the bass and drums oscillate from a standard rock rhythm section, as in the fine opener, "I'm So Happy," to a more syncopated beat, as in the island-influenced follow-up, "The Bug," and the less interesting mid-tempo "A Crooked Line."

African influences are a la mode, and the Interiors' sound is no exception, but, wisely, they don't sacrifice forward momentum for generic purity. The group's influences are eclectic (their MySpace page lists Nigerian King Sunny Ade in between Talking Heads and R.E.M.), but at heart they're a rock trio.

The album is short, just 35 minutes, but the Interiors pack a fair amount of sonic diversity into the 11 tracks, alternating slow with fast and soft with loud. Still, the songs work best when they plow straight ahead and let the ax do the work.

-- Alexander F. Remington

Appearing Saturday at the Red and the Black (202-399-3201, Doors open at 9 p.m.

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