Chain & The GangView In iTunes
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Offering a funky, stripped-down fusion of indie pop, funk, garage punk, and lo-fi experimentalism, Chain and the Gang are a vehicle for the thoughts and talents of Ian Svenonius — musician, author, actor, Internet talk show host, and frontman with the groups Nation of Ulysses, the Make-Up, Scene Creamers, and Weird War. Like many of Svenonius' earlier projects, Chain and the Gang are a band with an overriding philosophy; as Svenonius sees it, freedom and liberty have been used by the lazy and corrupt to pollute the environment, promote greed, pit class against class, fill our cities with ugly buildings, and stuff our faces with greasy fast food, so the time has come for us to embrace a new sort of bondage and seek out convicts, hobos, and other outlaws as spiritual brethren. Svenonius has filled his new band with a handful of noted indie rock musicians, including Fred Thomas of Saturday Looks Good to Me, Brian Weber of Dub Narcotic Sound System, Brett Lyman of Bad Thoughts, and Sarah Pedal of Seahorse Liberation Army. Chain and the Gang made their recorded debut with the album Down with Liberty...Up with Chains!, released by K Records in April 2009. To support the album's release, Chain and the Gang set out on a North American tour with the Hive Dwellers, a new band featuring K Records founder and Beat Happening/Halo Benders/Dub Narcotic Sound System leader Calvin Johnson; as it happens, the Hive Dwellers feature the same backing musicians as Chain and the Gang, with Johnson replacing Svenonius as lead vocalist. After splitting time between his many other endeavors, including hosting Vice Magazine's Soft Focus on VBS.TV, Svenonius returned to the ranks of Chain and the Gang to release Music’s Not for Everyone in 2011. Chain and the Gang switched gears with 2012's In Cool Blood, not only recording in mono for the first time but also shifting the lyrical focus more toward youthful mischief than the band's philosophical-leaning past.