Drawing on past projects that include punk, blues, pop, folk, jazz, and funk, Fine Subterraneans deliver their own blend of smartly-crafted indie rock. The Chicago based trio of singer-songwriter Matthew Keane, drummer Mike McCulloch, and bassist Kitt Lyles released their “Kingfisher EP” in December 2016.
In just five songs Kingfisher EP manages to deftly guide you through a surprising variety of genres and geographic influences: Pacific Northwest indie rock; New Orleans street jazz; midwestern alt rock; latin folk. It’s tied together with vocals that alternate between anthemic bursts and earnest crooning, and booze-fueled lyrics stuffed with symbols and dreamscapes.
Fine Subterraneans are at once self-serious and silly, grandiose and subtle, cocky and uncool. The style and feel of the songwriting shape-shifts multiple times, sometimes before the chorus is done. Keane’s theatrical yells are reminiscent of Baltimore’s Wildnerness while triumphant horn choruses recall Broken Social Scene and Destroyer. Guitar work alternates between melodic and discordant clearly checking bands like Modest Mouse and Dismemberment Plan
Highlights like The Cheerleader and Seek to Atomize carry a kinetic energy through all the style changes and somehow hold it all together. Live shows include horns and vocals from some of Chicago’s best young jazz musicians.
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