Chicago’s Retirement Party will brighten your summer with the heavy emo of Runaway Dog | Music Review | Chicago Reader

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Chicago’s Retirement Party will brighten your summer with the heavy emo of Runaway Dog


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Chicago emo acts helped raise the national profile of the fourth-wave scene in the early 2010s, but most of them had gone on hiatus or broken up by the time Retirement Party dropped their debut EP, 2017’s Strictly Speaking. Retirement Party not only filled a void in the city but also manifested new energy with subtly retooled combinations of familiar emo, pop-punk, and indie-rock tropes—on their 2018 full-length debut, Somewhat Literate, their workmanlike rhythm section heats up the languid guitars till they smolder. Singer-guitarist Avery Springer wrote all the material for the band’s previous releases by herself, but for Retirement Party’s brand-new Runaway Dog (Counter Intuitive), she collaborated on the music with drummer James Ringness and bassist-guitarist Eddy Rodriguez. Working as a trio, they subdue the nerviness of their early days and reinvigorate their sound with a heavier style. The coarse bass line, skipping drums, and gliding guitars of “No Tide” rub against Springer’s nonchalant vocals to create the tension that propels the track toward its brilliant crescendo. Its upbeat melody and fleeting, wistful highs make it a contender for song of the summer: “I hope I’ll make it through June,” Springer sings, “a little better off.”   v

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