VARIOUS ARTISTS: Maybe Chicago: CD

If you’re paying attention to the right types of punk rock, you may have come to this conclusion: punk rock is once again regional. The interweb’s fine for getting info, there are improvements in interstate communication, but there are definitely bands that are huge in their hometowns who make considerably less impact the further they travel away. I think this is a good thing. It gives local scenes time to grow and mature, for weird cross pollinations, and an umbrella of sound to develop. It also forces folks who love music to once again be vigilant seekers instead of wincing as some of their heroes desecrate themselves by providing songs for cleaning products commercials. I’ll place Maybe Chicago in a contemporary league with Seattle’s Dirtnap Across the Northwest, Southern California’s Hostage’s Tower 13 and Hostage Situation, Minneapolis’ No Hold Back… All Attack!!, and Gainesville’s The Shape of Flakes to Come! No, you’re probably not going to like every track on here, but it’ll give you a definite flavor and a barometer of what’s coming out of Chicago’s garagey underbelly in the near future. The only caveat is that the recordings are uneven. Some of the songs seem to be on a stereo that’s walking away from you at times, but that’s also part of the charm. My personal favorites on this: The Hot Machines, Baseball Furies, Tyrades, The Ponys, and Functional Blackouts. A valiant effort. 

 –todd (Postmersh / Criminal I.Q.)