Chicago’s Shy Technology impart new life into outmoded forms of indie rock | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Chicago’s Shy Technology impart new life into outmoded forms of indie rock


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Shy Technology call Chicago home, but their music is spiritually in sync with a type of melancholic and massive indie rock I’ve come to associate with Scotland; if front man David Coulson sang with a brogue I might have taken the band for Edinburgh four-piece We Were Promised Jetpacks. On their recent single “Crazy Kind” and their three-song EP, Fine Print (both on New Black Market), Shy Technology carve out soundscapes that are smooth and frictionless until they climax with the violence of waves crashing upon craggy seaside boulders. Their pinging looped guitar lines and bone-dry minimal drums together with Coulson’s mannered, yearnsome bellowing inform a sense that their songs could extend beyond the horizon and go on forever. Since indie rock became a commercially prominent phenomenon in the last decade, any new band whose sound reflects that moment can feel lifeless, as if they were xeroxing a 2008 Urban Outfitters ad and hoping its so-called alternative aesthetic will do the heavy lifting. But Shy Technology show there’s still some power to be mined from indie rock’s recent past—witness the straightforward and immediate opening track on Fine Print, “Claim to Fame.”   v

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