On their first record in nearly 20 years, local punks 88 Fingers Louie sound better than ever | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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On their first record in nearly 20 years, local punks 88 Fingers Louie sound better than ever

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It’s been 19 years since local melodic hardcore outfit 88 Fingers Louie released a proper full-length, and on the brand-new Thank You for Being a Friend (Bird Attack), the reunited band haven’t skipped a beat. Throughout the 90s, 88 Fingers Louie made beyond-catchy, turbo-speed, uplifting punk that was without a doubt better than (but unfortunately not as popular as) that of their skate-punk peers. The band broke up in 1999, with two members going on to the massively popular Rise Against, but they’ve come back together for a couple reunion stints over the years. The re-formation of 2013—the band’s 20th anniversary—stuck, and they’ve been on tour ever since. On Thank You for Being a Friend, they’re a well-oiled machine: drummer John Carroll (who’s been playing with math-pop masterminds Paper Mice) is faster and sharper than he’s ever been, guitarist Dan “Mr. Precision” Wleklinski reels off flawless technical riffs, and vocalist Denis Buckley sings just as clearly and powerfully as he did decades ago. It always felt like 88 Fingers lived in the shadow of the NOFXs and AFIs of the world, but on this new record, they proudly stand on their own.   v

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