13 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On this Chicago band’s third full-length they don’t shy from their taste for vintage pop. With members trading vocal duties, and a range of instrumental dressings coloring the sound (space-age synthesizers, flanged guitars, brassy horns, boogying pianos), Real Close Ones succeeds brilliantly in serving up a wide variety of textures and sonic treats, just as artists like Bowie, or the Kinks, or the Velvet Underground used to do. Opening track “Big Sound” howls like Mott the Hoople, with rollicking pianos and blaring horns (who really uses horns in a rock’n’roll  kind of way these days?), and the band shows a clear affection for Alex Chilton/Big Star on “Get Your S* Together.” The lovely closing track, “How Could You” and the waltzing and goofy “Breakfast Score” could both have been lifted from the Kinks’ catalog, while “Days in the Sun” has a breezy Beatles’ feel. All that said, there's plenty of music here that feels original and fresh, such as the woozy confessional  “Naked,” the psych-pop haze of “Don’t Be Late” and “Pigs Fly,” and the pretty and summery “Trying to Keep.” Keep Real Close Ones near your Flaming Lips and Elf Power records, for gently mind-altering, retro-inspired music on a lazy afternoon.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On this Chicago band’s third full-length they don’t shy from their taste for vintage pop. With members trading vocal duties, and a range of instrumental dressings coloring the sound (space-age synthesizers, flanged guitars, brassy horns, boogying pianos), Real Close Ones succeeds brilliantly in serving up a wide variety of textures and sonic treats, just as artists like Bowie, or the Kinks, or the Velvet Underground used to do. Opening track “Big Sound” howls like Mott the Hoople, with rollicking pianos and blaring horns (who really uses horns in a rock’n’roll  kind of way these days?), and the band shows a clear affection for Alex Chilton/Big Star on “Get Your S* Together.” The lovely closing track, “How Could You” and the waltzing and goofy “Breakfast Score” could both have been lifted from the Kinks’ catalog, while “Days in the Sun” has a breezy Beatles’ feel. All that said, there's plenty of music here that feels original and fresh, such as the woozy confessional  “Naked,” the psych-pop haze of “Don’t Be Late” and “Pigs Fly,” and the pretty and summery “Trying to Keep.” Keep Real Close Ones near your Flaming Lips and Elf Power records, for gently mind-altering, retro-inspired music on a lazy afternoon.

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2:25
3:07
2:13
3:59
3:27
3:38
2:55
5:24
3:16
2:53
2:53
3:56

About The M's

Chicago noise pop quartet the M's formed in the summer of 2000. Singer/guitarist Josh Chicoine, late of local jam band Jamestown, first collaborated with drummer Steve Versaw in the short-lived psych pop outfit Sanoponic, and after that project dissolved, Versaw moved in with singer/bassist Joey King (his onetime bandmate in the Kalamazoo-based Ordination of Aaron) and singer/guitarist Robert Hicks. The four musicians became regular collaborators, building a home studio and regularly recording original material; when the Chicago club Martyrs contacted Chicoine in the hopes of booking the now-defunct Sanoponic, he accepted the offer, convincing Versaw, King, and Hicks to play the shows instead. The M's made their live debut in July 2001, and their clever, melodic approach quickly earned a strong local following; they self-released an eponymous EP the following February, soon after reissued by the Brilliante label with the addition of two new tracks. Initial plans called for Brilliante to release two more EPs, but all the material was instead culled together to create the M's' debut full-length, a self-titled effort issued in the spring of 2004. ~ Jason Ankeny

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