Chicago’s Clearance make a new case for indie rock with At Your Leisure | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Chicago’s Clearance make a new case for indie rock with At Your Leisure


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Chicago four-piece Clearance play the kind of indie rock that, several decades into its existence, I’d now call classic—hooky songs that are deeply reverential of rock’s past and carry it forward with exceptional ease. Their melodies unwind like a Homer Simpson-type football fanatic settling into his favorite spot on the sofa, and the songs build to big, hooky crescendos like the emotion of said football fan cheering the winning touchdown of his favorite team. On the brand-new LP At Your Leisure (Topshelf), which Clearance celebrate tonight at the Hideout, they’ve heightened the celebratory spirit of their music and kicked up its urgent feel without disrupting their characteristic air of nonchalance (though the speedy Krautrock stomp of “Another Arrow” brings the band to the brink of their refined cool). I give some credit to the Hecks’ Dave Vettraino, who recorded At Your Leisure; the album occasionally mirrors the energy of the Hecks’ lacerating performances. But Clearance sound bold and poised throughout the record, because after five years together they know how to hit every note just right and make their songs feel as though they come as easy as an afternoon nap.   v

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