Them, Roaring Twenties
Ah, irony… it never gets old. At least that’s what Chicago art-rock band Them, Roaring Twenties is banking on with their new disc Future Sandwich. Its artwork is decked out in radioactive neon colors with a heavily pixelated background. Their band photo has the heads of Oprah, Barack, Michael Jordan, and Abraham Lincoln crudely pasted over their own heads. And they’re white, of course.
Obnoxious packaging choices aside, the music’s not too bad. Obviously these guys listened to a lot of Joan of Arc, Polvo and Cap’n Jazz. The eight tracks are made of cacophonous intertwining guitar riffery, both technically solid and casually tossed off. For the most part, they’re worthy heirs to a throne that has been largely vacant since we hit the aughts, and it’s nice to hear the genre dusted off and jazzified in a manner that would make Karate’s Geoff Farina proud. Most tracks spare us inane lyrics — the ones that do make it through are rendered via hip-hop’s latest burgeoning cliché, the auto tune, no less — and chug away on instrumental prowess alone.
Most remarkable about this release, though, is the Monopoly-esque mini-board game included with the CD. Players start on “Fuck Mountain,” roll the die, and pick up “Future Sandwich” cards that direct them to various Chicago hotspots for either reward or punishment. We may have reached a point where even this is an ironic commentary on some level. If it is, it’s beyond me, but it makes a nice touch to distinguish the Future Sandwich from some of the more middling sandwiches of the past and present.
Sickroom Records: www.sickroomrecords.com