by Scott Clancy
Tomorrow Never Knows Fest wrapped up this Sunday night, and while the festival specializes in bringing together both national and international indie acts to Chicago venues for the listening, viewing and dancing pleasure of indie-heads citywide, it most excels at is shining a spotlight on the exciting and rich music scene right here in Chicago. One of the festival’s final and best bills closed out the weekend at Lincoln Hall with local band The Hecks opening for co-headliners Corridor and Chicago’s Deeper.
The Hecks already have a solid following around Chicago. Their latest record, My Star, was put out last year on Trouble in Mind Records and launched with a sold out show at the Empty Bottle. The band embodies that trendy brand of wiry guitar style; direct strumming and jittery plucked post-punk delivered, in The Hecks’ case, in a style reminiscent of the quirks of Devo’s contemporary commentary veiled in band choreography and manic vocals. I’d be remiss not to note The Hecks’ members’ mustaches and cropped hair also reminiscent of Devo’s heyday. The band plowed through their latest tunes which benefited from the killer lighting and sound Lincoln Hall so wonderfully employs, stabbing the Chicago music scene with their best performance to date.
Corridor took the stage second. A band not too dissimilar from that aforementioned post-punk style of today’s guitar bands, the members of Montreal’s Corridor individualize themselves through dreamier textures and melodious francophone vocals that feed their clangy arpegios through an art-rock – emphasis on the ‘rock’ – lens that causes an engaged listener to get swept into both the washed-out texture and the more conventional stomp of Corridor’s headbangs and sways. The band played tracks from their latest release, 2019’s Junior, their third record and Sub Pop debut. Highlights included album opener “Topographe” and swirled rock track “Pow.” Corridor will embark on a short tour of the southern United States with Deeper this coming March.
Deeper closed the show. Another killer local act, Sunday’s performance served as their best to date as well. Returning to the form of a 4-piece, the band’s set consisted mainly of cuts from their self-titled debut record on Fire Talk Records, a collection of guitar based songs that stamp out the cold of one guitar’s jittery picking by adding the hot stabs and reverberated warmth from another, with machine-like pulse-drumming supporting them. Tracks like “Transmogrified,” “Pavement” and the latest single “Run” sounded clear as ever thanks to the venue’s superb sound and a seemingly angrier vocal delivery. The set was peppered with some newer tracks, perhaps for a release not yet to be announced, considering the band promised more to come this year before walking offstage. Deeper will be going on tour in the spring of 2020 with Corridor after heading to Europe in February.