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"Preview for Someday Lounge show"

While pop acts like the Shins hog all the glory and roll playfully upon waterbeds filled with Cristal, bands like Chores are why Portland pop music is on the map. On the map? Hell, Portland pop is the map. No city boasts as many talented popsmiths as our fair burg, as we've established an assembly line of bands that whip up hook-heavy tunes with a comforting ease, and not a single ounce of rock-star pretension. Life Is Hard, the debut EP from Chores is an absolutely flawless gathering of pop songs that work in every setting—from the basement, to the stage, to that waterbed full of imported champagne—from a band that has perfected their craft. - Portland Mercury

"Live Review: Chores at Thee Parkside, San Francisco"

Chores is a brand new, good ol’ steady rockin’ ’90s-style indie band from Portland, OR, that somehow got lumped onto a “covers night” bill at Thee Parkside for their first show in San Francisco. As such, the scrappy newcomers dutifully opened with an Alice Cooper cover, “Go to Hell”, before rolling into their own material, which included a bunch of songs off their debut record, Life is Hard. Tucked separately into the set were two parts of their “suburban trilogy”: “Super Car”, and the appropriately frenetic “Shopping”, and though it was a shame the headliner didn’t show (San Diego soul/blues band Lady Dottie and the Diamonds), their absence did thankfully allow for an extended Chores rockfest. - Crawdaddy

"Life is Hard Review"

When I first met Lou Thomas, it was as a member of A Weather, a lovely and quiet pop group that he plays bass for. During our interview, Thomas was gregarious, effusive and a little brash -- quite unlike the understated music that we were discussing.

Considering the odd juxtaposition of Thomas' swagger with A Weather's shuffle, it came as little surprise then that Thomas had another musical project going -- the brash, effusive and entertaining quartet known as Chores.

It is here that Thomas is able to get his rock star moves out of his system. The band's first EP, "Life Is Hard," is a bruising, bluesy affair reminiscent of the bar-band intrigues of the Hold Steady and -- with the combination of Thomas' vocals and that of the group's sole female member, Jada Pierce -- the sunburned punk of X.

It's a shame, then, that they don't have much to sing about on these five songs. The lyrics that Thomas and Pierce wrap their voices around are filled with matter-of-fact observations ("In the morning/in the shower/toweling down my wet hair") or odd asides ("Take me down to the noodle house/three bucks for a bowl of pho") that don't seem to jibe with the slinky grooves they are playing underneath them.

The band's instrumental prowess more than makes up for their lack of substantive lyrics, however. The interplay of Pierce's fuzzy rhythm guitar lines with Thomas' ringing lead work is wonderful enough on its own, but it is augmented in often surprising ways by the snaky work of bassist Eric Mellor.

Being Chores' first recorded work, and with all the good things they have going for them, it certainly feels like they can only get better from here on out. If not, at the very least, it's given Thomas a way to be loud before he has to return to the business of being quiet.

- The Oregonian

"Life is Hard CD Release Show Preview"

We should all be so lucky as Lou Thomas. He gets to pluck ever so gently and bashfully as a member of the unreasonably good A Weather, then groove on over to his other project, Chores, and let it all out with some straightforward, blistering rock. The five tracks off the EP Chores is releasing tonight, Life Is Hard, sound terrific, fueled by slashing guitar solos, and fierce, committed vocals from co-lead singer Jada Pierce. (If ever a name was ready for musical stardom, it's Jada Pierce.) If that's not enough for you, the band is giving away free copies of Life Is Hard to everyone in attendance at this show, so you really have no excuse to miss it. Unless you're agoraphobic. In that case, you may stay home.
- Portland Mercury

"Blue Moon Tavern, Seattle Show Review"

Hatred level with Chores? Next to zero. Like valkyries swooping in from Portland, my fog lifts with their strange brew – I hear everyone from Creedence to Talking Heads to King Missle (just a little) and it makes me perk up more than any band I've seen here in awhile. Not since that Kled set last month, if you want me to audit my serotonin levels. It's fog lifting and really goddamned impressive. - Jason Josephes, Booker


The Subtle Politics of the Public Hammock - Spring 2009

Life is Hard EP - 2007

PDX Pop Tomorrow Comp - "Shopping" - 2007



In a musical landscape that tends to favor polish over passion, whispers rather than yells, and apathy instead of action, Portland-based Chores is lively, loud, and opinionated. Blending heart-on-sleeve honesty, pissed-off political rhetoric, and occasionally heady language, Chores revels in the paradoxes of modern life with unabashed energy and unchecked confidence. These elements are brought fully to life on Chores's first full-length album, the subtle politics of the Public Hammock, released Spring 2009 by Field Hymns Records.

Combining their knowledge of the rock-and-roll mythos with an unquenchable desire to innovate, Chores's new album rocks hard and weird. Infusing the arty sprawl of Yo La Tengo with the ramshackle energy of Pavement, Public Hammock careens between genres while retaining the basic elements of rock, pop, and noise. The album hurtles like a pinball through 45 minutes of anger, whimsy, regret, and joy: From the sonic blast of "Make the World Go Away" to the noisy pop of "Rose," the political, pseudo-psychedelia of "New New Deal," and the edgy, Television influenced strut of "My Own Private Esperanto," each song fizzes with a vitality that can only be described as "Chores-ish."

When founding members Jada Pierce, Lou Thomas (also of A Weather), and Eric Mellor first met in 2005, all were reeling from big changes, struggling to get respective grips on their everyday lives and loves. This angst was etched into the DNA of their 2007 EP Life is Hard. Music was release and catharsis for each as they continued to hone their style through an intensely collaborative writing process.

Since then, they've learned to appreciate the shaky ground on which they stand and tackle issues of social import in songs like "Super Car" and "Noinsuranceland." The addition of drummer Matthew White completed the transition to a bigger, more frenetic sound that brought the band's live shows to new heights. Chores fine-tuned the songs for Public Hammock during two 2008 West Coast tours and numerous Pacific Northwest gigs.

Produced by Chores and recorded mostly by Matthew with the assistance of local luminaries Mike Coykendall (M. Ward, Blitzen Trapper) and Gus Elg of Pants Machine (who also mixed the album), the subtle politics of the Public Hammock gleefully straddles contradictions. The record is the inaugural release for Portland's Field Hymns Records. Look for Chores to support their album with tours and shows at a venue near you throughout 2009.