This weekend, one of Chicago's most unique and stylistically unsung bands makes their way back into the spotlight. Headache City formed in 2003, pulling key members Dave Head and Mike Fitzpatrick out of the ashes of the White+Outs, and were joined by Norah Utley on keyboards and currently Lisa Roe on drums. Always hard to pinpoint with their wide range of influences, their records are contagiously emphatic and after the release of their self-titled debut LP last year, it proves that Headache City have the depth and consistency to break ahead of the pack. After repeated listens, it sounds like Fitzpatrick's disparate vocals draw up a conglomeration of Greg Cartwright drawl mixed with the band's melodic subtleties that don't veer far from the early 80s New Zealand-based Flying Nun bands. All this energy comes rising within the brassy keyboard hum, working in perfect time with the tempestuous rhythm section. Cleverly inconspicuous and raw yet modestly minimal pop songs are always a keen sign of a deep well of great work to come, as surely will unfold with their new recordings. With the rumors of a cover of Sparks' "Amateur Hour," and a November tour being planned, it looks like their endless 'Suicide Summer' should extend well into the autumn months. Between slight nuances recalling Roxy Music and post-punk's wide range of neat quirks, Headache City sound like nothing else coming out of Chicago at the moment and their impending second album, scheduled to be recorded next month at El Goodo Audio, should offer more of the same euphoric chills and critical admiration that their first LP garnered. Check out some songs off their first album HERE, and pick up the album/CD on Shit Sandwich Records HERE.
This weekend, Headache City are supported by the Four Slicks from France, who are touring the States for the first time, and include a refugee'd member of the Rip Offs (Jon Von, also previously of Les Dragueurs) in the ranks, despite their vastly different sound. Opening up the night's show are the Grave Blankets from Columbus, OH who sound like they've been holed up in a damp closet listening to Gun Club and Destroy All Monsters records at the wrong speed, and that alone should make you excited. The dual male/female vocals over their dissonant and unsettling grisly tones makes this one opening act you don't want to be late for. Check out all three bands this Friday at 9:00PM at the Empty Bottle in Chicago.