Chicago rockers Peel breathe new life into old sounds on Never Not Dead | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Chicago rockers Peel breathe new life into old sounds on Never Not Dead


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Chicago foursome Peel play the kind of swashbuckling rippers that demand to be called “rock ’n’ roll” (don’t even think about using the whole “and” in there) and that sound like they could’ve poured out of a jukebox four or five decades ago, depending on the tune. At least, that’s the case on their new self-released EP, Never Not Dead, which they celebrate tonight. The recording follows Peel’s second album, September’s Goes Bananas (get it?), and it shows they’ve decided to crank up the volume on their feel-good rock and ratchet up the assault a bit too. They pull together various strains of six-string pop, including freewheeling anthems for 1950s greasers (“Teenage Rock & Roll Singer”) and shoegaze-style melodies, though the latter sound clearer and more energetic than the 80s UK bands that influenced them. No matter the era or mood they draw from, Peel capture the frisson of a close-knit group of musicians throwing ideas together, and they flirt with combustion without letting that intensity get in the way of a good hook. They exemplify that on opener “Wet Work,” a track that’s so rambunctious it sounds like their instruments have come alive and are wrestling for control of the song.   v

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