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Fire, Blood, Water

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Album Review

Champagne, IL's Living Blue used to be called the Blackouts, and released two records under that name for the Chicago-area imprint Lucid. But somewhere the title of their second album became their band name, too, and the Living Blue resurfaces on Minty Fresh with Fire, Blood, Water. If you're familiar with "I Have Found Mine" and "Next Train" from the album Living in Blue, then you'll recognize the sonics of Fire, Blood tracks like "State of Affairs" and "Murderous Youth," and "Serrated Friend." This is a band that suggests Mooney Suzuki as much as the late, great Material Issue, with songs that throb on heady '60s basslines, chaotic drums, and ragged guitars crossing indie rock with tones of the Zombies and Seeds. (There's also some sweetness and fake British accenting to Steve Ucherek's vocals, adding to the Jim Ellison allusion.) Fire, Blood, Water could use more dynamic stuff like "Greenthumb," the detached, 1980s-style "Tell Me Liza," or the simmering "Conquistador" to offset its batch of cranked-up, acid-squelch rockers, but as a record with one thing on its mind it's pretty solid.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Champaign, IL, indie rock outfit the Living Blue was formed in 1997 by three natives of tiny Odell, IL -- singer/guitarist Steve Ucherek, guitarist Joe Prokop, and drummer Mark Schroder -- who first met while in high school. Originally dubbed the Blackouts, they burned through a series of bassists (among them Ucherek's brother, Ben) while building a fan following on the Champaign bar circuit. After installing bassist Pat Olsen in 2001, the group cut a self-released five-song EP that caught the attention...
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Fire, Blood, Water, The Living Blue
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