Wedding Dress quietly became a favorite new local of mine. I like them a lot. This is noteworthy considering they’ve uploaded just bits, a light sprinkling, of material to the Internet. I also haven’t experienced them live yet, so my high regard of the guys is solely based on the contents of what they might acknowledge as “mini EPs” released within a few months of each other: Dangerous Living and The Mange. Dangerous Living, I wrote several days ago, was good enough to deserve a mention in a follow up to my favorite local releases of the past year list. At two tracks the package wasn’t a true contender for the list at any time, and so an addendum list pairing Dangerous Living with another two-track collection I liked from 2012, Tyler Jon Tyler’s Loyal Caskets, was published. It seemed an appropriate (and convenient) way to write about more music without interfering with my picks.
Which brings me to The Mange, released this month on Bandcamp. At the time of the addendum list I hadn’t yet given it an honest listen. Now that I have I realize the guys already usurped the thing I’d only moments ago lavished with praise. In The Mange it seems Wedding Dress stood at the peak of Dangerous Living’s highs, and then looked up. Pushed up, really. The Mange, made up of the title track and another one, “Ravenous Blood,” exists in some beatific realm in the sky that Dangerous Living couldn’t quite grasp. I caught whiffs of Wedding Dress’ potential heights in Dangerous Living closer “Old Time Thorns,” a tune that challenged the title track’s careful execution by loosening the stiffness. That playful, but attractively soulful attitude spilled into The Mange and then augmented. On the mini EP Wedding Dress is more wayward, sonically. Like they’ve been seasoned in a bath of whimsy.
In “Ravenous Blood” Wedding Dress takes advantage of the rare situation of having two accomplished singers in one band. Mike Russell of Suns (or his vocal doppelganger) shifts from support to lead vocal and harmonizes with Wedding Dress’ usual lead. The effect is pretty. Mike, of course, sings lead in Suns, another band I’ve written a lot about here lately.
It’s gorgeous up there, way up high. I’m sure Wedding Dress is realizing it, too.
- The Chicago-based Wedding Dress is Erin Elders, Mike Russell, Clint Weber, Matt Lemke and Bobby Burg.
- Pay what you want for The Mange. | Bandcamp
You know, there are plenty more Music Reviews on Chicago Tunes.
Also: Like Chicago Tunes on Facebook, or follow on Twitter. If ya want.
Stream Chicago Tunes-approved tunes on Hype Machine. No signup required.