Thank You, I’m Sorry harnesses midwestern emo to conquer unyielding malaise on I’m Glad We’re Friends | Music Review | Chicago Reader

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Thank You, I’m Sorry harnesses midwestern emo to conquer unyielding malaise on I’m Glad We’re Friends


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Most Americans felt the pinch of chronic financial instability even before COVID-19 aggravated the country’s catastrophic wealth inequality by helping shift billions more dollars into the pockets of a handful of billionaires. So even if you don’t recognize yourself in the lyrics of Thank You, I’m Sorry’s “Menthol Flavored Oatmeal”—which describes a twentysomething working ten-hour days at a minimum-wage service job that barely makes a dent in their college tuition—you can probably relate to the band’s front person, Colleen Dow, when they gloomily sing about enduring the pressure cooker of early adulthood (though they wrote the tune before anybody had to consider the dire health risk of attending in-person classes or working a service-industry job during a pandemic). Thank You, I’m Sorry is an emo band now, but Dow launched it as a solo project—in February, they released a self-recorded acoustic album, The Malta House, named after the village of Malta, more than an hour west of Chicago in DeKalb County. This month’s I’m Glad We’re Friends (Count Your Lucky Stars), recorded by the trio version of Thank You, I’m Sorry, includes much of the same material. Bassist Bethunni Schreiner and drummer Sage Livergood give Dow’s tunes a sprightly pop-punk flair (the power-up drum pattern that opens “Ten Dollar Latte” sounds like a subtle homage to Blink-182’s “Feeling This”), adding just enough locomotive force to prop up Dow’s droopiest riffs without undercutting the music’s malaise. Even as Dow sings about feeling perpetually immobilized by everyday misfortune, the band’s understated drive suggests that this too shall pass.   v

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