Sunday 20 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Chicago's The Audition faces...

Chicago's The Audition faces 'Great Danger' in self-producing its punk pop

Chris Parker January 28th, 2010

The Audition with The Dangerous Summer, Sparks the Rescue and more6 p.m. Sundaythe Conservatory8911 N.$10 advance, $12 doorThe Audition isn't a typical punk-pop ...

The Audition with The Dangerous Summer, Sparks the Rescue and more
6 p.m. Sunday
the Conservatory
8911 N. Western
$10 advance, $12 door

The Audition isn't a typical punk-pop act. Although hailing from Chicago, its style is a lot harder to pin down than Fall Out Boy or The Academy Is"¦, and the band has steadily picked up momentum for the last couple years, since the release of "Champion" in 2008.

The group began in 2003 when drummer Ryan O'Connor and since-departed bassist Joe Lussa started working with a variety of musicians on two EPs. Lead guitarist Bob Morris left on the eve of recording (to start The Hush Sound), and Danny Stevens was brought in to play guitar. Two weeks later, singer Evo Soria quit to return to school, and Stevens became the new front man.

The first album, 2005's "Controversy Loves Company," stuck closely to their punk-pop roots and was greeted with mixed reviews. By the time "Champion" arrived three years later, the act was much tighter and more adventurous. The tempos slowed, and the guitars moved in a funkier, more rock-driven direction, exploring jittery, soul-soaked grooves while retaining some measure of aggression. Other songs strike a balladeering sway that hint at the approach of last year's self-titled release.

Driven by an opening acoustic strum, "It's Gonna Be Hard (When I'm Gone)" is an unadulterated pop song in the vein of Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is," with a swelling chorus and quiet breaks where all the instruments drop out but the acoustic guitar. Four of 10 tracks clock in under three minutes, in the group's most accessible release to date.

"That album will always be my favorite because it's got almost a singer/songwriter feel," Stevens said. "I just think that's our best work."

The Audition is keeping up the ambitious release schedule with its third album in as many years, "Great Danger." Due March 16, the disc is the first the musicians recorded themselves.
Using a small, Pro Tools setup, lead guitarist Seth Johnson captured tracks he and O'Connor wrote on a computer before bouncing them to Stevens " who, unlike his bandmates, lives in Detroit " for feedback.

"I think for this album, you could kind of say we went back to our roots," Stevens said. "We're trying to make some of the songs faster and not necessarily poppier, but more singable. We've got the pop songs. We have the funky, groovy, almost R&B-esque songs "¦ and we've got the fast-rock, pop-punk songs."

The key to the frequent releases is that both Stevens and Johnson are constantly writing, even if it's not always with the band in mind.

"If you do it enough, it comes naturally. You have to condition that part of your brain," Stevens said. "We write just to keep that part of our brain and creativity exercised. Sometimes, we use stuff we've written in the past, but 90 percent of the time, we're like, 'All right, it's work time. Let's get it done,' and we just get it done." "Chris Parker
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