I'm taking the opportunity to plug the new album by The Methadones, the singer (Dan Schafer) of which is an old old acquaintance of mine from back in the stone age, about 20 years or so ago. Dan had a band back then called Sludgeworth that was one of the best bands to ever come out of Chicago but they remained fairly obscure and broke up after a few years. I had a lot of great times back then going to see Sludgeworth and to this day those shows remain some of my favorites. So I'll admit I'm a bit biased when it comes to The Methadones. Even though they aren't Sludgeworth, Dan's voice still brings all those great memories flooding back so it's impossible for me not to like them to some extent.
There are really only 2 things you need to know about The Methadones:
1. Catchy Ramones-y guitar riffs
2. Dan's got a great set of pipes
Put those two together and that pretty much sums it up.
I'll confess that on the first listening my first response to this album was 'meh'. Part of the reason is that the best songs (Starting Line, I Believe, Already Gone and Take Me To Japan) were buried at the end of the album. The other part is that it takes a few listens for the melodious toonz to work their way under your skin. But give it enough listens and they will, oh trust me they will. The production is superb and finally they've mixed an album that allows Dan's vocals to shine, so much so that you don't even need a lyric sheet. Previous albums tragically had his vocals muddled in the background but this time around they got it right. In fact one of the most powerful songs, 'I Believe', is just guitars and vocals, mixed to perfection.
I downloaded the album from emusic because in my old age I've become extremely impatient. I want it now dammit and in this technological age I can have it now. It's also available from Interpunk if you have more patience than me and can wait for the postman. Emusic will let you preview the songs and one of the best tracks, Take Me To Japan, is labeled a bonus track so I'm not sure if it's available on the CD.
Now if the airlines would only have a price war I'd go to Chicago on Aug. 10th to catch their record release party at the Beat Kitchen.