Chicago rockers, THE LAUREATES announced that their second full-length album, Spells, will hit the streets June 28, 2011 on 12” vinyl on the band's own imprint, Funambulist Recording Company. In 2010, while the band recorded and released a cover every month as part of their “Year of The Covers” experiment, they also wrote and recorded another 10 original tracks with all the passion and grit expected of these Chicago favorites. Spells’ basic tracks were recorded by Johnathan Crawford on an 8-track tape machine at Catalyst in Chicago, and finished at Clown Town during the summer and fall.
The songs on Spells combine the crystalline, modern-pop sensibilities of their first album, There Are No More Gentlemen with the more echoed, vintage analog acoustics of the No Kontrol EP, producing an electrifying amalgam of the energies of their previous recordings. The new album finds the band straying from the 3-minute pop song formula on tracks such as “Life of Leisure” and “Moon Bitch,” the former starting out as a bouncy strut of sunshine-y pop before veering into darker psychedelic noise, and the latter closing out the album as a slow-burn vamp that brings to mind a marriage of Ziggy Stardust and Doolittle. The narrator on the menacing track, “Robbers” slips in and out of paranoid nightmares of both the sleeping and sleep-walking varieties while the drums shuffle along in concert with a Velvets-inspired guitar riff. But the record still retains The Laureates’ signature blasts of pop on songs like the anthemic “Changes, Etc.”, the angular “Don’t Lose Your Cool”, and the weary but bright-eyed “Oh, Delusion.” Rate this posting: