Civic Center: The Ground Below (American Dreams Records, 2020)

November 15, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Civic Center: The Ground Below

Chicago trio Civic Center play a blend of industrial and post-punk that balances claustrophobia with composure. Opener “High Beams” sounds like they’re flailing in the dark and being ravaged by invisible ghosts, but “Fly on the Wall” is much more upright, with very Joy Division-esque vocals and bass guitar, and some squealing noises lurking in the background. “The Prophet” is filled with rabid shrieking and echo chamber paranoia. “You Know What This Means” edges closer to power electronics, but without the harshness, and with acid-drenched effects over the enraged, ranting vocals. “Pencil and Pad” is a surprise excursion into dub, with a melodica lead and vast pools of stormy echo.

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