The dream of the 90s might be “alive in Portland,” and embodied sonically in the sounds of Sleater-Kinney’s new album, but The Locals can lay claim to the dream of, not only embodying, but making the best use of 90s DIY ethics. Hailing from Chicago, IL, the origin point of so many great bands and musical artists over the decades, The Locals really are the type of band that has you scratching your head wondering why they aren’t omnipresent (even if you’re an adherent of that other 90s dream-that of keeping you favorite music to yourself and despising the fact that an album of said music might sell a million copies one day).
Composed of members Yvonne Doll (guitars, vocals), Christy Nunes (bass guitar), and Tommy Oedering (drums), The Locals have built a pretty solid following throughout the Midwest due to some excellent gigging and a UK tour competed back in 2011. 6 album/EPs into their career, The Locals are one of those bands that have steadily gotten better with each album and performance. Their latest releases, “The Willful Suspension of Disbelief” single and EP Sterostatic Funicular continue to make the best use of the alt-pop/indie rock sound of just about any band recording right now. Straight up guitar (fuzzy and clean), bass (slinky and bottom heavy), and drums (wide ranging in tempo) make this band what they are, much like it made other Chicago stalwarts, like The Smashing Pumpkins, what they were in the beginning. While their sound isn’t heavy as Billy Corgan’s outfit, they are as dreamy in places which makes for a great use of the “loud/quiet” dynamic that was so prevalent in 90s alt-rock. This dichotomy appears less and less as their albums/EPs progress, but it’s there nonetheless and their most straight up rocking moments benefit from its use (see “Together Alone” off their Big Picture album).
Over the past decade or so, The Locals have recorded some great music, the best of which includes “Amnesia” off their EP Salt as well as their newest single “The Willful Suspension of Disbelief.” The moderately hard rocking “Tidal Wave” from BIg Picture is another of their favorites. “3 Inches from The Floor” with it’s swinging/swaggering baseline that erupts into a great guitar driven chorus outshines many of their other songs. It shows just how rocking a pop-like beat can be when raw, and well played electric guitar is added to the mix. “Commerce,” off Sterostatic Funicular is another great track that rocks a little harder than the above, to the benefit of the band’s expansive sound.
Even though they appear to be in hibernation currently (there is no new news on their website currently beyond some blurbs about their most recent single), The Locals have at least one more fan out here who’s hungry for more, and hopefully there will be more soon from this great Chicago band.
See them at SXSW:
Fri 3/20 Burnside Tavern, 5pm – MusicGorilla Showcase
Sat 3/21 HandleBar , Noon, Red Gorilla Showcase