Air This Side of Caution
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Air This Side of Caution


Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Air This Side of Caution - Nature Will Turn On Us"

You can make the case that wartime bands and music carry the most weight and hold up the most accurate mirror to its society. If your case contains the music of Bob Dylan, late-60's Beatles, or Marvin Gaye’s "What's Going On?" then you've got a pretty good argument.

So what are today's bands saying about where we are and where we're going? Most bands conceived the few years before and after 9/11 aren't as blatantly "anti-war" as the Vedder's and Stipe's (or Coyne's for that matter), but they can express it in new, subtler, more narrative ways. Just as Dylan used folk music to tell universal stories of struggle that caught a counterculture's attention, today's bands are passing along old folktales of greed and loss (The Decemberists' magical "The Crane Wife") and lies and emptiness ("So Divided," the aptly titled ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of the Dead latest album).

Following in tow, the sophomore album of Chicago's Air This Side of Caution, "Nature Will Turn On Us," takes a sonic journey through a charred landscape of a vacuous America. "Here We Go" invokes Enron and white collar America as they go "crusin' for loopholes" and keep "growing like a weed." The irony soaked "Picture Perfect" contrasts its own catchiness as singer John Raine paints an empty world where nothing is more than skin deep.

These thoughts and notions aren't breaking news, but they do paint a bleaker picture of world that ATSoC used to see more idealized in their debut effort on 2002's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being". Furthermore, they have tightened up their sound. Jason Paul's soaring guitar solo's still resonate (none more brilliantly than in "Details & Structures"), but they complement the songs more now rather than being separate, longer entities. And rightfully so.

ATSOC has more to say lyrically now. Is there any hope? Indeed, we're not dealing with doomsayers. "What's Beyond the Sky?" points to a more heightened sense of awareness, "estranged from the real world." It points to a transcendence, to "wonder what's beyond the sky" instead of dwelling on the everyday horrors that make you very afraid for now and tomorrow.

The album's opener "Vanilla Sky" forecasts the mood and vibe of the album. "Am I dead or have I just lost track of time?" Raine asks in the opening lines, signaling an awakening. But the world awakened to is sick, dying. "Please wake up and find a cure," Raine pleads to God in "Details &

"Nature Will Turn On Us" doesn't let you off the hook, ending with the brooding "Listen to this at Night" which recalls the Animals "House of the Rising Sun." The cloud over the world the band paints is troubling and very real and frightening, but for Air This Side of Caution itself it marks the arrival of a very bright and promising future.


-Rich DiTore
- Online


The Unbearable Lightness of Being (2002)
Things Just Fall Apart EP (2005)
Nature Will Turn On Us (2006)



Air This Side of Caution

Some people start bands because they want fame & fortune. Others start because they have nothing better to do. The rare exception is a band that believes music is an end unto itself, rather than a means to an end. Air This Side of Caution is that exception, a Chicago quartet that recently found themselves with the creation and release of their sophomore album, Nature Will Turn On Us.

The new record marks a shift in the band's attitude: they no longer hesitate to write about their beliefs. Almost every track on the self-produced album has a societal or political comment coursing through it. "Here We Go" rants against Enron, while "Details & Structures" echoes the record's dark title, wondering if humanity will stop the destruction of our environment before it's too late. Other themes include anti-war as well as anti-Bush sentiments; musings on work and life in Corporate America; and Raine’s struggle with depression and suicide.

Although its message is intense and thought-provoking, Nature Will Turn On Us maintains a strong pop sensibility. "It's kind of a 'right here, right now, this is what you should be listening to' attitude," says Richard Milne of Chicago's 93.1 WXRT. "I specifically like the confidence of the performances."

Much of the confidence captured on tape is a direct result of the band taking control of the recording process. They created a temporary studio at Raine's childhood home in Naperville, Illinois and spent a week hammering out the basic tracks; overdubs were done in the basement of JKid’s house in the Chicago neighborhood Lakeview.

While very apparent on disc, the band's tightness and inherent musicality is even more obvious in their live show. Drawing comparisons to everyone from The Replacements, Radiohead, and Jeff Buckley, they careen from one song to the next, laying down a strong pop foundation at one moment with "Could You Be More?" only to dismantle it with the rich and dark, almost anti-pop bombast of "Carry On."

The weight of their music creates a problem for ATSoC: there is an obvious contradiction between the music they write and their personalities. Sitting in a room with the band is akin to a bus ride home from a junior high field trip, only without adults. The most common sound when with them is laughter; silence is a rarity. "The things we love become part of who we are and what we do. I love dark, emotional music, but I also love The Three Stooges," says Raine. "I'm an optimistic, happy person most of the time because music provides me with a pressure valve, a release. Without it, I'd be dead."

Some bands would see such a contradiction as a roadblock to fame and fortune; ATSoC accepts it as one of the secrets to their success. “It helps us avoid the arguments that destroy the relationships of most bands,” explains JKid. In other words, it grants them the ability to concentrate on what matters. "We create for the sake of creation," offers Raine. "I'd be much happier living in poverty with good songs under my belt rather than living in a mansion, embarrassed and cringing every time I hear myself on the radio."

Band Highlights:

· Chicago Tribune “Pick of the Week”
· Red Eye “Featured Concert”
· Featured Artist in upcoming 2007 Millennium Music Conference
· Featured on Q101, 93.1 WXRT, WGN TV, CLTV, Metromix, & Fearless Radio
· Festival appearances: Taste of Chicago, Rock Around the Block, Taste of Randolph, Summer on Southport, Retro on Roscoe, Lakeview Street Fest, Around the Coyote Arts Festival, Chill on Kingsbury, Clark Street Fest, & MobFest
· Featured in Sauza’s Live All Summer Series 2006, including a performance with DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill at Hard Rock Café Chicago
· Performances with OK GO, Lucky Boy’s Confusion, Local H, Phantom Planet, Absinthe Blind, The Changes, Assassins, Bleu, Aberdeen City, The Webb Brothers, Marcy Playground, The Lovehammers, MOFRO, Bumpus, Michael McDermott, Sleeping at Last, Sponge, Eve 6, Galactic, Naughty by Nature, John Mellencamp, Bon Jovi, & The Goo Goo Dolls