On Is a Cult, downstate DIY rock duo the Funs double down on their bubblegum grunge | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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On Is a Cult, downstate DIY rock duo the Funs double down on their bubblegum grunge


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The Funs have left a bigger imprint on the contemporary Chicago DIY scene than any other band that no longer calls this city home. In 2012 Jessee Rose Crane and Philip Jerome Lesicko, vocalists who share guitar and drum duties as the Funs, moved downstate to New Douglas, where they’ve been busy refurbishing an old house and turning it into a musical utopia called Rose Raft. That’s where the pair live, rehearse, record, and run the Manic Static label, which has worked with bands and musicians crucial to building the infrastructure of Chicago’s underground scene and making it interesting; the list includes Ne-Hi, Earring, Lala Lala, Magic Ian, and Melkbelly. On their forthcoming album, Is a Cult (released on Magic Ian’s label, Maximum Pelt), the Funs double down on the musical elements they play with so well—drumming that lunges between turgid and bombastic, guitars that claw at the sky, melodies that tease out the bubblegum elements of grunge while dragging the music through the muck. Is a Cult shows there are more golden melodies to pan for in the deep river of shrieking guitars, and as the Funs demonstrate with the subdued riff on the hypnotic single “Suncoat,” they’re equipped to do it.   v

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