New Black
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New Black

Band Pop Punk


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The best kept secret in music


"Venus Review"

As odd as this may be, this eponymously titled debut is perhaps the most meticulously laid out punk rock and chaotically thrashing new wave album one's likely to hear. As easy as it would be to attribute this solely to the eerily defined keyboards of Rachel Shindelman, the sultry vocals of guitarist Patti Gran, or the ferociously nasal roars of bassist Liam Kimball, it's their talents combined (with those of drummer Nick Kraska) that really earn them their name - Venus Zine, Spring 2004

"Punk Planet"

A thoughtful take on frenetic and wiry art-punk with a pop-punk backbone and a new wave feel. Typical punk mechanics are hardwired with cosmic keyboard lines and luscious bass rhythms-a great balance of loud and angry searing punk and calming, dancey groovees, from the Rapture-esque dance track "RobotoboR" to the pop-punk-meshed-with-New Wave-licks "Hot Box" to the minimally rhythmic "Twisted Lips." - Punk Planet, May 2004

"Kerrang! Live Show Review (London)"

Despite Patti Gran's 1950 s American housewife frock and guitar that appears roughly the same size as her, it doesn't take long for the first of many eardrum-busting howls to be unleashed. You'd say that this effortlessly propels their material above the wallowing self-indulgent quality of their equally discordant peers, only it still sounds like they're wringing every ounce of conviction out of their Cursive-Meets-Breeders formula to get to where they are on a night when they could've been forgiven for taking it easy. - Kerrang! May 8, 2004


Co-gendered art-punk quartet New Black aren't exactly the second coming of the B-52s, but they're pretty damn close…."Last Wave"'s horror-film keyboards are both ironic and erudite, a syrupy amalgamation of The Munsters and Klymaxxx, while the brilliantly-titled "Booze Olympics" stomps around like a six-year-old who's just been told he can't have anymore cotton candy. - Splendid Ezine, April 2004

"Delusions of Adequacy"

"Everybody" has been saying it and, for once, "everybody" is right: take some Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Pixies, Q and not U, add party animals the B-52s and some other 80s new-wave and you get New Black. Abrasive vocals from both XY and XX chromosome carriers snake around, taunting and challenging the guitars and drums to keep up. - Delusions of Adequacy, May 2004

"Outburn Magazine"

The bottom line is, New Black manages to take grungy guitar riffs and strange keyboard sounds and make them sound great together. - Outburn Magazine, May 2004

"Someday Never"

"Everybody knows now," sings Patti Gran on New Black's debut effort. With an album like this, pretty soon everyone will.

There are always these exceptional discs that come out of nowhere to catch a person's attention, hidden gems that escape the hype and fall conspicuously under the radar. New Black's self-titled full length on Thick Records is just that; an out-of-nowhere reminder that garage rock doesn't have to be bland and inanely predictable.
- Someday Never, May 2004


Just when the jaded masses and ear-numbed critics were just getting ready to notarize the declaration that new-wave fueled punk is as artistically dead as Howard Dean’s presidential aims, New Black comes along to resuscitate the flagging genre’s hopes with a near-perfect debut. -, April 2004

"Chicago Reader"

I put on the eponymous full-length (on Thick) from coed four-piece New Black late one afternoon, and damned if it wasn't a shot of caffeine straight up the vein. Compounding the mordant desperation of X, the giddiness of the B-52's, and nearly everything else that was great about early-80s postpunk, this agitating, aggravating record might be the most promising debut I've heard from a local act in the last year. - Chicago Reader, March 2004

"Logo Magazine"

In an endless quest for punk rock grit, New Black producer Greg Norman (Guided By Voices, 90 Day Men) resorted to grabbing handfuls of 2 inch master tape and screwing them up to see what happened. It’s a tactic that certainly adds a certain wayward charm to the results, making this Chicago foursome sound like genuine refugees from the second wave that emerged from CBGB’s in the wake of Blondie. The tapes flutter like stoned butterflies, lending this pristine, polymorphous pop a veneer of seedy danger that sounds more like Joe Meek capturing The B-52’s mud-wrestling with The Pixies with every play. Unconsciously articulating the aesthetics of teen trash by feeding off their hormones, this is one for the Meek-hearted, not the meek. - Logo Magazine, March 2004


New Black S/T (2004) - Thick Records
Holiday Greeting - 12/03 - Out of Print
Demo - 03/03 - Self Released

In addition to online, college and independent community radio - New Black have received airplay on the following commercial stations so far:



Feeling a bit camera shy


When your debut album receives near unanimous praise from fans and jaded critics alike, creating a sophomore album can be a daunting task. If you follow the same formula, then you risk being labeled a one-trick pony. If you take the record in a drastically different direction, then you risk alienating all of your fans. When New Black began crafting the songs for Time Attack, those were the circumstances that surrounded them.

"Writing this one was a lot harder. We had so little time to write the last one, everything just popped out," said Rachel Shindelman, keyboardist and (sometimes) singer of New Black.. With Time Attack, we had a lot of time to think about it. We definitely wanted to make sure that no one said anything about a sophomore slump. This is a different record. We’re more mature as musicians. I think we took more chances this time around."

Drummer Nick Kraska added, "When we first sat down to start writing, there was a lot of writer’s block and frustrating practices. After a few weeks we asked ourselves, ‘what was successful about the first record, and why do people like our band?’ That answer was ‘because of who we are.’ People like us live a lot because we just let loose and it's a little rough around the edges, so we made a concerted effort to loosen the reins a bit. Once we did that and came more to terms with ourselves as a band, the ideas began to flow freely."

With a new batch of songs in tow New Black went into the studio in early 2005 with Greg Norman (Guided By Voices, Detachment Kit, McClusky) at the helm once again and crafted a record that deftly dodges the sophomore slump.

Time Attack is just that, a 37-minute assault on the senses. Just as you are about to catch your breath from dancing along to songs like "Big Haus", you are instantly swept up into an all-out aural attack by songs like "Der Spook." Although the band refined and honed their sound on Time Attack, the true genius lies in the way New Black took the record to two extremes. On their debut album, New Black brought forth a sound that was neither indie rock nor punk, it was a hybrid of both…and it certainly wasn’t garage rock.

Instead of toning one of their influences down, on Time Attack New Black accentuates and enhances both the punk aspects and the new wave aspects of their prior release. Each influence co-habitates with and compliments the other, resulting in an album that feels like a single, cohesive product.

If the praise and press that New Black received for their debut was any indication of what we can expect for their latest effort, then New Black will be the name to know in 2005-2006.


"An astonishingly good and crisp blend of what would be called--simply--early-eighties new wave and jabbing rock `n' roll, the record soars with dueling male-female vocals, nebulous keyboards and needlepoint hooks that never seem to stop throughout nine tracks." – Dave Chamberlain, New City Magazine

"…the most promising debut I've heard from a local act in the last year." - Monika Kendricks, Chicago Reader

"New wave/punk hybrids may threaten to nod off into derivative oblivion, but as long as New Black is around to vigorously shake the style, there’s still a long way to go before the sound dozes off." – Matt Shild,

"The bottom line is, New Black manages to take grungy guitar riffs and strange keyboard sounds and make them sound great together." - Outburn Magazine

"Despite Patti Gran's 1950 s American housewife frock and guitar that appears roughly the same size as her, it doesn't take long for the first of many eardrum-busting howls to be unleashed." – Kerrang! (Live Show Review)