Exit Verse, Pink Frost, Total Jams | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Exit Verse, Pink Frost, Total Jams Free Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Mon., Dec. 15, 9 p.m. 2014

I’ve had a soft spot for singer-songwriter Geoff Farina since I picked up Pockets, the final album from his shape-shifting band Karate, released in 2004. Farina effectively explores the connections between jazz, slowcore, and emo via understated vocals and skilled guitar work, and he can get pretty colorful with his solos without being extravagant. So last year when Chicago Stone Lightning Band drummer John Dugan (formerly of Chisel and Edsel) told me he’d been working on a new project with Farina, I figured I’d be hooked. A year later, the self-titled debut from Exit Verse (put out by Ernest Jenning Record Co.) doesn’t disappoint. With Tight Phantoms bassist Pete Croke in tow, the group’s got a magnetic, worn-in punk style—the songs leave Farina plenty of room to bust out a mean solo, and some approach a ramshackle darkness without coming close to falling to pieces. The sturdy, headstrong march of “Seeds” showcases Farina’s talent for teasing uplifting notes out of melancholic melodies, and it’s part of why I’ll still be listening to his work beyond this album. —Leor Galil

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