Fitness sweat out sing-along hooks while spewing punk defiance on their new Puppet Show | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Fitness sweat out sing-along hooks while spewing punk defiance on their new Puppet Show


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Part of the undercovered and frankly underappreciated Ian’s Party scene of snot-nosed melodic-punk bands that can sweat out sing-along hooks just as well as they can shotgun tallboys of Old Style behind a Dumpster, Fitness put their faith in the power of the triumphant dual-guitar battle between riff boys Mike Hayes and Ian Lee. Their new six-song EP Puppet Show (Don’t Panic)—the release of which, look at that, is being celebrated tonight—features a little bit of cock-rock glitz and glam spewed into the foursome’s abrasive, grimy brand of pop punk. With a trio of vocalists contributing subtle variants of gruff screaming (often a la Chicago native son Brendan Kelly), Fitness jaunt between sweeping two-minute epics of disdain (“Sin Bad”) and full-bore, volatile punk defiance (“Pauly’s Shore”). The album is rife with the kind of reckless energy that would easily have upstaged a Fireside headliner during the scene’s mid-to-late-90s heyday, when life was simple and focused on chain-smoking Camel Lights indoors and drinking whatever swill was within arm’s reach. Local punk pros Rad Payoff, who just in late April dropped the very solid (and ambitious) LP Slow & Weird, will warm up the stage with their musk.   v

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