Luggage - Happiness LPHusky Pants Records
Chicago has always had a large contingent of musicians operating on the less-is-more principle. The city’s old bluesmen could imply a whole chord with a single note. Reductionist provocateurs like U.S. Maple or Shellac fought against rock n’ roll bloat. You can even look at the deconstructed compositions of iconic Chicago albums like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and see a definitive attempt at stripping away not just unnecessary adornments, but even some of the supposed load-bearing structural components. In that regard, Chicago trio Luggage serve as model representatives of their city, wielding the standard components of their trade—guitar, bass, drums—while stripping away any hint of excess until they arrive at the most austere manifestation of rock n’ roll: magnets picking up the vibrations of nickel-wound strings, wooden sticks striking polymer skins, laconic sung-spoken vocals. And on their fourth album Happiness, Luggage offer up their starkest work yet.