Filling in the middle spot of an interesting night of music at The Bottle last week was Them, Roaring Twenties. A fairly young band, not only in terms of shows played (I think I just started noticing their name around about 6 months ago or so) but also in age. Although, with this youthful vigor brings a new twist and creativity to an otherwise stale genre that is Chicago math rock .
It would seem that prog-rock is making a comeback. Bands like Deerhoof and Make Believe have made it cool to make music that actually takes some (a lot) of skill to play. Them, Roaring Twenties, following in that vein, have 2 guitarists that play almost exclusively using a technique called tapping, riffing with the drummer to produce these fractured melodies that turn on a dime, leaving the listener constantly on edge. Without a bass player, the low end is filled in by a Rhodes keyboard, who with the vocalist, accompany the rather jagged rhythms with fat and warm chords and chanted nonsense lyrics.
Overall, quite an enjoyable set that had me thinking of Tortoise at times, and realizing that post-rock is just a term hipsters came up with to say they listened to jazz without admitting it. They are a very tight band but, I still feel that they have a few things to work on. The best times were when there were no vocals, it seems the singer is still trying to figure out the best way to fit in with the double guitar attack. It will be interesting to see how this band progresses.