Laureates

Laureates

 Chicago, Illinois, USA
BandRockAlternative

The Laureates' songs display a blend of rock and roll influences as dusty as The Creation or The Kinks and as modern as Spoon or Guided by Voices, channeling the spirits of ‘60s freakbeat, pop, garage, indie rock, psychedelia, and post-punk.

Biography

The Laureates’ sound came together over a two-year span beginning in late 2005 after Chad Preston (vocals, guitar) had written and recorded a self-produced, lo-fi album throughout that year. Knowing that being in a band is always more fun, he went out to find people to play live and record some songs. He first found Crawfie Ward (bass) and Pete Gray (drums) who had played together previously in other projects. Adam Penly joined in early 2007 just in time to help support the release of the band’s first record, a self-titled 7” EP, released on its own label, Funambulist Recording Company.

After a number of local Chicago shows, the band recorded their first full-length album, There Are No More Gentlemen with Mike Lust at his Phantom Manor studio, and released it at the end of 2008, again on Funambulist. The songs on the record recall traces of childhoods spent listening to the underground rock of the ‘80s and ‘90s, and classic rock and roll heard on the radio in dad’s car, as if the band was pretending that Pixies and Pavement were contemporaries of The Beatles or The Who. The record’s modern approach to vintage rock and roll/pop songs (“equal parts paisley and punk” – Chicagoist) garnered positive reviews from around the blogosphere, with writers comparing the band’s music to Guided by Voices, Spoon, Interpol, The Jam, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks. The album saw some college radio play, charting on the CMJ 200.

Their third record, No Kontrol, was released digitally in February, 2010, via Funambulist Recording Company/Candy Dinner. The EP was recorded by Johnathan Crawford (Paul Cary, The Runnies, Tiger Bones, France Has the Bomb) in Chicago in the summer of 2009 at Leroy Bach’s home studio and at Clown Town. No Kontrol slightly tweaked the sound of There Are No More Gentlemen by adding a touch of lo-fi noise and reverb-ed abandon.

In April 2011, Chicago rockers, THE LAUREATES announced that their second full-length album, Spells, will hit the streets June 28, 2011 on 12” vinyl on the band’s own imprint, Funambulist Recording Company. In 2010, while the band recorded and released a cover every month as part of their “Year of The Covers” experiment, they also wrote and recorded another 10 original tracks with all the passion and grit expected of these Chicago favorites. Spells’ basic tracks were recorded by Johnathan Crawford on an 8-track tape machine at Catalyst in Chicago, and finished at Clown Town during the summer and fall.

The songs on Spells combine the crystalline, modern-pop sensibilities of their first album, There Are No More Gentlemen with the more echoed, vintage analog acoustics of the No Kontrol EP, producing an electrifying amalgam of the energies of their previous recordings. The new album finds the band straying from the 3-minute pop song formula on tracks such as “Life of Leisure” and “Moon Bitch,” the former starting out as a bouncy strut of sunshine-y pop before veering into darker psychedelic noise, and the latter closing out the album as a slow-burn vamp that brings to mind a marriage of Ziggy Stardust and Doolittle. The narrator on the menacing track, “Robbers” slips in and out of paranoid nightmares of both the sleeping and sleep-walking varieties while the drums shuffle along in concert with a Velvets-inspired guitar riff. But the record still retains The Laureates’ signature blasts of pop on songs like the anthemic “Changes, Etc.”, the angular “Don’t Lose Your Cool”, and the weary but bright-eyed “Oh, Delusion.”

Press, Radio and Reviews:

“The Laureates pen '60s inspired pop with a new millennial sensibility. That is to say that while they wear their influences proudly on their buttoned lapels, they still sound utterly modern. Their forthcoming full-length, There Are No More Gentlemen, is all syncopated strumming and lackadaisical melodies, equal parts paisley and punk. These are the sort of tunes custom built for shimmying gals out of their miniskirts and boys out of their stovepipe slacks.” - Chicagoist

“Interpol produced by Phil Spector...this sounds slick as snails, and these guys fall all over themselves to pile hook after hook into every song.” - Seven Ten Twelve

“Resonant, strong vocals anchor this marriage of 60's Brit jangle and modern indie rock, making this a bit of a joy.” - Roctober

“It's not far from early Rolling Stones, or the Kinks...when the distortion was novel and incorporated into little pop jems...this is like one of those unearthed gems that collectors drool over...It's just successful rock period.” - Seven Inches Every Day

“Opening strong and improving until the end, the self titled 7" is a crash course in early garage rock and ends up somewhere around mid-period Guided By Voices...The Laureates show they are wise beyond their young rock years. They aren't here to show their chops or wow you with flash, they are far more subtle than that.” - Delusions of Adequacy

Songs played on WFMU and other U.S. communi

Discography

- The Laureates EP (2007, Funambulist Recording Co.), 7" format, downloadable MP3s

- There Are No More Gentlemen (2008, Funambulist Recording Co.), CD, MP3

- No Kontrol EP (2010, Funambulist Recording Co.), MP3, CD

- Spells (2011, Funambulist Recording Co.), LP, MP3

Set List

Sets are usually 10 to 12 songs from the list below with the occasional cover thrown in.

1 - Her Fiction
2 - Your Filthy Eastern Ways
3 - Nothing is Perfect
4 - It’s Shattering
5 - My Association
6 - Tomorrow Today
7 - A Novel Approach
8 - Make You
9 - Coronation Now!
10 - I Wanna Miss You
11 - Gentleman
12 - Witching Boots
13 - Furniture Moves
14 - No Control
15 - Get Sensitive
16 - Disconnected
17 - Beauty Spies
18 - Cooler Birds
19 - All Eyes Open
20 - Moon Bitch
21 - Life of Leisure
22 - Oh, Delusion
23 - Random Language Leagues
24 - Don't Lose Your Cool
25 - Worry, Worry, Worry
26 - Monitor Me
27 - Plume Fontaine

And many more!