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Living In the Aftermath

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Though it’s a scale-down after the orchestral thrust of The Wall to Wall Sessions, 2008’s Living In the Aftermath, recorded over eight days, is still a full-screen sonic attack, featuring an all-star cast and an extensive line of guest musicians. Co-producer Tony Maimone (Pere Ubu) doesn’t obscure Mills’ lyrical call to arms. “Nightmare At 20,000 Feet” retains its fear of flying with Mills’ shaky and vulnerable delivery, while the band rolls along without a single air-pocket hitch. Trumpeter Dave Max Crawford, violinist Jean Cook and steel-guitar and banjoist Jon Rauhouse play important roles, fleshing out the agitated prowl of “Untitled No. 1” and adding a soothing patina over the steady pulse of ‘Blackbirds.” “Atom Smashers” throws in suicide bombers and more worldwide paranoia to keep Mills awake at night. Yet for all the tinkling barroom pianos and festive horns, Mills is at his most direct and effective when he slows down to contemplate on the steady and placid “Such a Beautiful Thing,” where the pedal steel sweeps slowly and Mills calms down for a sense of relief.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Americana singer/songwriter Chris Mills was born an Army brat, spending his formative years living in both the U.S. and Germany; as a teen he settled in southern Illinois, where he was exposed to the groundbreaking insurgent country sound of local heroes Uncle Tupelo. While in high school, Mills also fronted a speed metal band, but in the years to follow his music took an increasingly rootsy turn; upon signing to Chicago indie Sugar Free, he issued his debut EP...
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Living In the Aftermath, Chris Mills
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