On Weddings & Funerals, Chicago indie rockers the Kickback make ugliness sound sweet | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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On Weddings & Funerals, Chicago indie rockers the Kickback make ugliness sound sweet

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This show has been canceled. In May, Kickback front man Billy Yost told Billboard that he wrote part of “Will T,” the first single from the band’s recent Weddings & Funerals (Jullian), at age 18; Yost wound up completing the tune, which explores romantic friction and relationship anxiety, on the verge of 30, when he was working his way through a divorce. “It seemed funny to me to revisit that song from such a different place in my life and the sheer brute ugly it could relay,” Yost said. He laughs maniacally as the band cranks up the volume at the beginning of “Will T,” but the song, like much of Weddings & Funerals, goes down smooth. As dedicated students of aughties indie rock, the Kickback understand how to make songwriting sparkle, how discord can gnaw at listeners more effectively than the sweetest hook, and, most important, how to bring those seemingly disparate ideas together to make great music. On “Reptile Fund” they toy with rumbling keys, start-stop drums, a light-­footed acoustic guitar melody, and what sounds like a demonic harmonica; the song moves at such an easy pace that it feels as though the individual parts assembled themselves until each note ended up exactly where it was meant to be.   v

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