Chicago’s Vamos pump their sweetly shambolic rock ’n’ roll with enough weight for Muscle Beach | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Chicago’s Vamos pump their sweetly shambolic rock ’n’ roll with enough weight for Muscle Beach

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Vamos make the kind of slaphappy, feral rock ’n’ roll that’s got a tectonic power, which is why in 2015 local music site cum label Midwest Action asked front man Ryan Murphy which building he’d want to destroy with his band’s sound. (Murphy’s answer: “Trump Tower or the DMV.”) It’s all well and good to marvel at the band’s musical muscle, but they’re an impressive force in the local rock ecosystem because of how they move all that mass. The fuzz and buzz throughout their brand-new second album, 1, 2, 3 (Maximum Pelt), work like a megaphone; the band sounds louder and more forceful than ever before, like they’re a cacophonous crowd midriot rather than three musicians. That rawness doesn’t distract from Vamos’s unambiguous, sharp pop sensibilities but rather helps to supersize their sound; the vocal harmonies on, say, “Bathroom 54” sound like they’ve been lifted from a forgotten doo-wop record and forced to fight back a tsunami.   v


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