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90 Day Men

Chicago, the "Hog Butcher for the World" as Carl Sandburg famously put it, didn't come into its own as a rock city (outside of blues circles, at least) until the early '90s. But as stalwart indie label Touch and Go grew into a pre-eminent tastemaker (along with 90 Day Men's label, Southern), the "City of the Big Shoulders" began to take its place as the center of the independent rock universe.

90 Day Men exhibit something I'd call "Chicago maturation," a term I just made up to fit this thesis, in that their sound has mutated from the pure bombast of (It [Is] It) Critical Band, on which their Steve Albini influence is more in evidence, to the blithe yet mopey Panda Park, which sounds like they've been locked in a padded room with nothing but a supply of valium, a piano and copies of Aladdin Sane and Grace. For reference, see Siamese Dream vs. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, or Spiderland vs. Millions Now Living Will Never Die--

Wait a second. This whole premise is breaking down. Fuck.

Here's what it boils down to: If you like Bowie, Jeff Buckley, Sooyoung Park and Prince, then Panda Park is so far up your "alley" that it could take your temperature.

More by Curtis McCrary

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