Explode and Make Up – Self-titled 12″ EP
Underground Communique Records
Explode and Make Up is a relatively newer band from Chicago, IL. They have been around about four years now but this is their first record. That is a long time to wait before releasing a record but in that time they have played plenty of shows and took the time to write some good songs before committing anything to vinyl.
The band plays melodic hardcore that has a bit of an old-school, mid to late 1980s feel to it. The guitars by guitarist for nearly every Chicago band overachiever Jeff Dean, are very loud and a bit droning and definitely have that big “Chicago sound” to it that the city has become famous for. The guitars very much drive these songs. The vocals are a sort of high-pitched melodic singing by Dennis Buckley of 88 Fingers Louie fame. At times his voice sounds like some sort of bridge between Kevin Seconds and Pat Dubar. The rhythm section is really solid too and deliver a driving, up-tempo beat including some fast fills. The record sort of fits nicely between late 80s/early 90s Chicago punk and some of the Dischord bands that came around after the hardcore bands broke up and the new crop of stuff became a lot more musical. All six songs on this EP are very enjoyable.
The record is a one-sided 12″ that comes on either black (300 pressed) or blue (200 pressed) vinyl and has blank yellow labels. It is housed in a standard LP jacket with artwork that is a tribute of sorts to the first Bold album. According to the label’s website it also comes with a download card for the mp3’s though the promo copy sent in didn’t have one. The record sadly lacked a lyric sheet which is about the only flaw you could find in the entire package.
For their debut record, Explode and Make Up really hit one out of the park and hopefully we won’t have to wait another presidential term for them to follow-up on this EP.