VORTIS: The Miasmic Years: LP

Jan 25, 2023

If you’re new to Chicago’s Vortis like I am, here’s a brief synopsis, if I may be so reductively bold: old school, primitive punk rock channeled through a distinctly Midwestern vein, in a non-pejoratively ’90s kind of way. I like directness, when bands strip away every possible distraction and focus on only what’s absolutely necessary for the song. Vortis have apparently been honing that skill for over fifteen years. With non-cringy songs about the pandemic, modern politics, and the personal trials of the last two hellish years (among other things), this record reminds me of why I loved punk rock in the first place. There are elements of Angry Samoans, Dead Boys, early Weasel and, yes, Naked Raygun. Best song: “This Ain’t Gonna End Well,” a modern day KBD classic if there ever was one. My only gripe is they mixed the record in mono! It reduces the sonic power but more than anything it’s just annoying, kind of like cassettes making a comeback. If mono makes a comeback, I quit. Other than that, this record rules! –Chad Williams (Cavetone, cavetone.com)

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