Woo Park, Monobody, Kamikaze Vigilante, Rusty Gates | Double Door | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Woo Park, Monobody, Kamikaze Vigilante, Rusty Gates Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Thu., Jan. 29, 8 p.m. 2015

Indie-pop default can tend toward earnestly cultured idiosyncrasy by being both too careful and too precious. Not Woo Park, though. From its corny name on down, this is a bracingly tasteless band. The Chicago quintet bills itself as psychedelic soul, but its jazzy lounge sound suggests a heavily doped up Steely Dan more than a Sly & the Family Stone. The group’s album Smokes, self-released in December—weed art included, is a loose collection of keyboard washes, wah-wah burps, and shoulder-shrugging, slightly dazed yacht rock. “Boom Bap” honks and struts (but not too hard) as vocalist Emily Nichols riffs out gibberish: “Well I opened the door / and I stood there waiting for / hours and hours /slowly losing my powers / so I stop take a whiff of the flowers.” Her bop phrasing turns word-association salad into stoned, cheesy cool. “Like Mine” is a mild collision between pure Vegas and some sort of 70s-exploitation soundtrack—you can almost see Tony Bennett emoting while nubile Scandinavians couple in the background. Nichols can also uncork some surprising grit when the mood takes her, which sets off unabashedly fuzak jamming. There’s a joyful debasement in the groovy inauthenticity. There’s just not much to say to a band with an eight-minute track called “Sex Jam” except “woo!” —Noah Berlatsky

Price: $8

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