Chicago's Discus explore the outer reaches of languid indie rock on their debut album | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Chicago's Discus explore the outer reaches of languid indie rock on their debut album


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Chicago has plenty of workhorses among its young indie rockers, but few of them can grind like brothers Jake and Paul Stolz. That’s partly because they’re inseparable musically: they make up the rhythm section for pop-minded five-piece Varsity, and they both play in arty foursome Pool Holograph (Jake on drums and Paul on guitar). A couple years ago the Stolzes decided to launch a band where they could take the lead, and their four-piece, Discus, debuted in 2018 with EP (Middle Distance), which showed their grasp of slightly rambunctious slacker rock. But their brand-new debut full-length, Something Has Happened (the first cassette release from Sunroom, a print studio run by Jake Stolz and Metro art director Clare Byrne), strikes out toward the frontiers of that stylistic territory. Joined by bassist Kevin Fairbairn and drummer Arthur Velez (both of indie rockers Clearance), the Stolz brothers keep the languorous spirit of their early recordings intact, but they also rein in their rocking by binding it to intimate, minimal postpunk. Though Discus still get loud on Something Has Happened, even edging toward a full-fledged racket on the glimmering single “Prodigal Son,” the album works because it captures a variety of moods. I’m especially keen on their most skeletal arrangements: on “(Center)” they marry tinny keyboard percussion and threadbare guitars in an engrossing meditation.   v

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