A few years ago I had the chance to see Chicago-based Disappears perform in Bloomington, Ind. at The Bishop. Steve Shelley was playing drums and he showed such enthusiasm and motivation when playing. He’s a terrific drummer, integral of Sonic Youth and Disappears’ set that night was fantastic.
Shelley’s time with Disappears was short lived, but the band today continues to experiment and explore new music territory while tipping their hats to notably-influential 70s krautrock and 90s alternative rock bands. Irreal will be released Jan. 19 on Kranky Records. These are just a few songs worth listening to:
Loud and expansive percussion rhythms soak up dissonant guitar rhythms and subtle bass melodies in “Interpretation”. The guitar rhythms are very reminiscent of late 80s and early 90s Sonic Youth as well as early Blonde Redhead. A nice harmonic melody briefly interrupts the guitar rhythms before they resume. The lyrics “Anything could happen” can be heard as a louder and noisier guitar plays a slow melody. The louder guitar melody ends the song almost sounding like the post-metal band Pelican. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but it’s a very fun coincidence nonetheless.
"I_O" again takes influences from early Blonde Redhead, but the vocals sounded quite a bit like that of Jeff Mueller (Rodan, June of 44, Shipping News). Perhaps it seems like an unusual direction for Disappears to take influence from 90s post-rock and math rock bands, but tipping the hat to such obscure bands will leave a good impression on others.
"Another Thought" features a dark and repetitive rhythm. The rhythms are repetitive and simplistic in the sense that it allows the music to be layered with other elements to grow in complexity. It seems quite reminiscent of the Cologne-based krautrock band, Can. They too, in albums such as 1971’s Tago Mago and 1972’s Ege Bamyasi, would take simplistic rhythms and build upon them to develop complex songs.
Overall, the album is quite minimalistic which seems to pay homage to the band’s krautrock influences. Irreal rightfully confirms that Disappears are a krautrock-influenced alternative rock band. The songs are layered and complex with rich and noisy texture.
Perhaps such influences weren’t as obvious in previous Disappears releases, but this is an exciting direction for the band as well as Kranky Records. This is a very fun album.