Another Reason The Music Industry Sucks.

April 20, 2008 at 5:30 am (cool band alert, rock and roll, videos)

It was last September that sort-of Chicago rock band The Living Blue (nee The Blackouts) announced that they’d finished their new record. If you’re really, really looking forward to this disc, that was nearly 7 full months ago. Not that anyone’s counting. Ok, I am counting. And waiting. Impatiently.

My “Best of” list of records from 2005 is utterly screwed up because I didn’t actually discover The Living Blue’s incredible debut disc Fire, Blood, Water until about May of 2006–four months after I’d finished that list. Although the record and band get lumped into the garage-rock genre (and certainly their roots are there), there’s very little “retro” appeal here, despite guitartist Joe Prokop’s Rickenbacker and Brian Jones haircut. “Tell Me Leza” sounds like Franz Ferdinand without the cliches and with more inspiration; “State Of Affairs” and “Murderous Youth” roar along with a fire and verve that you simply don’t get with bands doing the revivalist thing. In fact, let’s us take a little break here and provide evidence to The Living Blue’s (and Fire, Blood, Water‘s) greatness:

(“Tell Me Leza”)

(“Serrated Friend”)

(“State Of Affairs”)

Ok then. If that was your first exposure to The Living Blue, we should probably clarify a few things:

1. Yes, I know; those are killer songs.
2. Yes, I know; guitarist Joe Prokop is the great unknown guitar hero on the planet, and yes, he does shred, and yes it is inexcusable that he isn’t mentioned when people talk about the most gifted rock and roll guitarists in the world.
3. Yes, I know; singer/guitarist Steve Ucherek does indeed sound a little like a teenaged Bono singing as if he was terrified and desperate and angry and strung out on caffeine.

Fire, Blood, Water came out on indie-pop label Minty Fresh, but it seems the band and Minty have parted company. So, despite having a completed followup album called Walk, Talk, Rhythm, Roam ready for release, I gather that the band is still at the point of seeking out someone to release it…which is insane. The tracks I’ve heard at the band’s website and myspace page are absolutely killer. There are nods to their garage-rock roots on tunes like “Numb” and “Without You”, but songs like the amazing title track (which might be in the running for song of the year), “Something You Do”, and the stunning “Venus Fly Trap” are a quantum leap ahead of even the brilliance of their debut, and “Nightwind” would be a massive hit if there was any justice in the world. That the band seems to be having trouble finding a taker for this either means they know how good it is and are asking a dear price for a label lucky enough to put it out, or is further evidence that the music industry is in a deserved death spiral.

Between the band’s website and myspace pages, you can hear 6 or 7 songs from the 12 on the completed record. Hopefully very, very soon you’ll be able to hear the rest. The Living Blue are one of the most exciting rock and roll bands on the planet and are fully deserving of better treatment than this.

The Living Blue myspace page, where you can hear “Nightwind”, “Walk, Talk, Rhythm, Roam”, “Something You Do”, and “Venus Fly Trap”.

The Living Blue’s under-construction website where “Numb”, “Nightwind”, “Without You” …and one other song which may or may not be “Refugee” can be heard.


  1. Anonymous said,

    Couldn’t agree more friend. Now worries thought. Despite label b.s. word is these guys are heading back in the studio this spring. Takes more than a dumb industry to slow TLB down.

  2. Rob said,

    God damn, these guys are fantastic.First I’ve heard them but now I want more More MORE!

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