We live in a world of polish these days. Movies, animated or otherwise, are for the most part just very realistic cartoons with live-actors squished in front of green screens. Our most popular books are summer reads, happy-slappy romances with tidy endings and formulaic quirky characters. And our music, oh jeez our music, has jumped the track of originality into lengthy studio sessions with the end-product seeking slickness over texture. It’s a strange world, and every so often you get a chance to power-wash away the sheen and find something just a little rougher. Enter, Negative Scanner. Trouble In Mind’s newest band (and if you haven’t spent some good quality time digging around in this label’s discography, you’re doing yourself a disservice) drags you out of the smiles and manufactured perfection of the ’10s and into a seedy basement in some guys house in wrong-side-of-the-track suburbs. Gone are synths and fretless basses and autotune and in their place are just four Chicagoans and some nicked up guitars, reminding you that the world is infused with cracks and breaks and a thin coating of grit. Would You Rather? draws up imagery of back-rooms in dive bars, a band caterwauling away, a lead singer throwing herself from side-to-side, sweat bubbling up at the edge of her hairline. It makes you think of a sweaty bodies mashed against each other, the feel of a shirt soaked through with perspiration, a singer’s voice lost in a hail of off-key guitars. It makes you think that some things in life haven’t been buffed down to a hearty shine. It makes you remember that things aren’t always perfect. And that’s just fine.
:Negative Scanner – Would You Rather?: