the Race, Bloodiest, DJs Brian Case & Joe Proulx | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

the Race, Bloodiest, DJs Brian Case & Joe Proulx Critic's Choice Recommended Soundboard

When: Sun., Sept. 6, 9 p.m. 2009

The Race’s previous full-length, 2007’s Ice Station, was just as bright and cheerful as you’d expect a record inspired by Siberia to be, but compared to their new Exiles (St. Ives) it sounds relatively sunny. It’s another set of songs based on a theme—a kind of Judeo-gothic electric western, to paraphrase guitarist, front man, and sole constant member Craig Klein—but the mood and sound have evolved from “the Postal Service gone goth” (as I once described Ice Station) into something much darker and wilder. The album opener, “Black Boat,” is a dense blast of thudding drums and grinding synths that sounds like stripper music from a titty bar in hell; Klein howls like a well-tormented man, with his usual tenor forced down into an uncomfortable baritone whose shakiness heightens the mood of derangement in the lyrics, which recount a man’s descent into madness. And Exiles barely comes up for air after that—it keeps up a steady barrage of matte-black electro-blues and psychedelicized apocalyptic imagery. This is a release party; Bloodiest and Ariisk open. —Miles Raymer

Price: $3

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