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Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Rock Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Forty Whacks, The Death Of...EP Review"

Garage band The Forty Whacks play fast punk metal songs with a rock twist. Based in Beach Park, IL, the quartet is slowly building a fan base. They have released one EP so far. The Death Of... is a collection of lo-fi songs, energetic and - sometimes - all over the place. A few unmemorable mid-tempo metal songs - New Pathology and Flowers) but also some good stuff: the angry Afterbirth, with the typical nu-metal lyric "I've lost my job today and now I'm really fucked" and Ever Since That Day, with a weird out-of-tune intro that will catch punk loving listeners on the wrong foot.

There is one track on this EP that can get them out of obscurity. Death by Electric Car is a fist pumping rock anthem with simple but highly effective riff that gets stuck inside your head instantly. The band is currently working on Dying Is So Last Year, their first full-length. If they focus on their strong points these guys may have future as a leading underground band.

- Here Comes the Flood

"The Forty Whacks, The Death Of..."

The Forty Whacks are an intriguing amalgam of rock, punk and metal. This six-track EP delivers riffs, melody and power that clearly encompass all three types of music to create something which has a broad appeal and would probably find favour with those who ears are attuned to bands like Linkin Park and System of a Down, whilst not really wholly resembling either of those two bands to any great extent, but having hints of their sound along the way, along with San Diegans, Unwritten Law.

The opening track, “Ever Since That Day” displays more of the rock/metal element of what this band is about, and although I don’t tend to listen to that much of those specific genres, it’s a strong track with a good, meaty sound. However, for me, one of the two gems on this EP comes next: “Afterbirth” has more of a punk feel to it with the occasional “whoa” thrown in, and it does make me think of a mid-era Unwritten Law.

The high point of this EP is clearly the more punk offering “Death by Electric Care”, which has a good pace to it, pushing the song along nicely from beginning to end. With a vocal performance from Johnny Pierro that again reminds me of Scott Russo of Unwritten Law, this is one of the best songs I've heard this year. It has a good, crunchy guitar sound, is catchy, infectious and has some top-notch vocals.

I am surprised at how I like the more rock/metal songs on here, but they’re neither too rock nor too metal, and the Forty Whacks are able to meld their music into something that is less genre-specific. The diamonds, though, are clearly “Afterbirth” and “Death by Electric Car”, two songs that stand out head and shoulders over the other tracks, perhaps identifying where this band excels.

"Talking Shop with The Forty Whacks"

Coming from the suburbs of Beach Park, IL The Forty Whacks are a fresh-faced foursome looking to rock hard. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, The Forty Whacks are in the midst of putting out the first of what will be four EPs, debuting now, in the summer of 2010 through the next year or so. The quartet will be making their debut into venue notoriety at the Elbo Room here in Chicago this July, with the hopes of bringing in a bigger fan base to help them celebrate the upcoming EPs.
As of now the band does have a demo of the first installment available to stream online at Moriarty Records. Short and sweet, the three tracks do deliver the driving rock and gritty guitar the band seems to have a penchant for in their influences of Tool, Primus, and Nirvana. However, the heavy rock of the instrumentals in all these tracks are contrasted by vocals that seem all too timid to be fronting a band such as The 40 Whacks. There’s a hint of punk qualities in the droning delivering by front man Johnny Pierro, but overall he seems more suited for pop punk, particularly by the sounds of “Lies” (coincidentally in this track we couldn’t help but hear a hint of Weird Al and, with no disrespect meant to the parody musician, it was entirely unappealing.)
The other two tracks of this EP offer something a tiny bit heavier vocally, but as a whole Pierro seems much too nasally and evenly paced to match a band that’s trying to rock out.

Nonetheless, as a band The 40 Whacks seem to be pretty tight and “EP One” is decent start for an up and coming group out of the ‘burbs. We’ll be keeping our ears to the ground for what these four roll out with next and hope to see them hone something a little heavier.

Drummer Marc Harman answered some questions with us this past week about the bands musical intentions, their dream cities to play, and what we can expect from The 40 Whacks in the next year.

Reviewsic: Can you give us a quick recap of what the band has been up to as of late?

Marc Harman: We just recorded for the first time as a band, so we’re still psyched about the sound we left the studio with. Honestly, we’re still writing what will be out live set, but our material is carving itself out very nicely and we’re not at all worried about the quality of music we’ll have to share when we play these first two shows we have lined up at what we consider to be serious venues. We’ve just been doing that and promoting our product.

Reviewsic: What’s the back-story on how this project came to be what it is today?

Marc Harman: The Forty Whacks were born out of a falling out and a siezed opportunity. We had been working on a punk cover band with another guitarist, who posed the idea of bringing in a second guitarist. Todd asked is his brother if he’d be interested in playing again. In business terms, there was a merger, a divestiture, and a stong will to shift our focus toward future growth and nurturing our fundementals.

Reviewsic: What are your top three musical influences?

Marc Harman: Jesus. Wait, Jesus isn’t on the list. Let me start over. They’re Tool, Primus, and Nirvana.We did all grow up in the nineties after all.

Reviewsic: Is there any instrument you don’t play, but wish you did?

Marc Harman: The piano, I guess. I just can’t get used to the idea of all those notes laid out in a row. I mean, why is the fifth so far from the root? But I could see how knowing how to play it well could really add some perspective.

Reviewsic: What is the last album or band each of you listened to?

Marc Harman: Curtis Mayfield, A Tribe Called Quest, SLAYER, (and Bayside).

Reviewsic: If you could work with one person in the music industry (musician, label, producer etc), who would it be and why?

Marc Harman: I’ll tell you later. Sorry for the David Byrne reference. It might actually be neat to work with David Byrne, because he’s either fucking nuts or a weirdo. I can’t decide which.

Reviewsic: Tell us about your intentions for music/what drives the music you make – is there a particular concept/creative direction behind it?

Marc Harman: The Forty Whacks likes to release our pent-up aggressions and cross musical genres. Any band’s members are going to have life experiences founded upon different music, and there is no reason whatsoever why the interests that have made us who we are cannot all have their moment of prominence.

Reviewsic: Who are three of your favorite local bands?

Marc Harman: Local H, Chevelle, and The Elvi. Consequently, twenty of The Forty Whacks have played with each of them at different points in our musical pasts.

Reviewsic: If you could book a tour with any 4 bands, past or present, who would they be and why?

Marc Harman: The Who (because Marc thinks he’s fucking Keith Moon), Sex Pistols (because Tom thinks he’s fucking Sid Vicious), Weather Report (because Todd has gone so long narrowly avoiding fights with bouncers), and Alkaline Trio (because Johnny thinks they’re cool… and they are).

Reviewsic: If you were to put out an album of strictly covers, what are a few songs we’d find on the track listing?

Marc Harman: As indicated in question 2, we’re not big on doing covers, but if we did an album of strictly covers, you might find Kasmir (Led Zepplin), Aliens (Hot Mama Silver), Cowboy Song (Thin Lizzy), Journey to the End of the East Bay (Rancid), Roxanne (The Police), Rump Shaker (Wrecks-N-Effects), Killing in the Name of…(Rage Against the Machine), Eye in the Sky (Alan Parson’s Project)

Reviewsic: How would you compare yourselves as musicians at this point in time as opposed to when you first began playing?

Marc Harman: Todd almost decided to use a pick in one of our newer songs; Tom has learned how to put a song together; Johnny has really come out of his shell; we don’t drink quite as much as we did six months ago… and Marc still pretty much sucks.

Reviewsic: What are some of your favorite cities and/or venues to play? (or what are some venues/cities that you really want to play)

Marc Harman: Chicago. London. Tokyo (Japan, it’s in Asia).

Reviewsic: What are the best and worst music moments so far in your career?

Marc Harman: Best: all the time not spent setting up and tearing down. Worst: blowing amps, speakers, tubes, having shit stolen. There’s a reason your dad used to tell you not to let other people ride your bike, so to speak.

Reviewsic: What is the most memorable concert you’ve ever attended?

Marc Harman: After a huddle, it has been decided that the trophy for best concert ever attended goes to Marc and Todd.

Todd: It was Outkast, but it wasn’t so much the concert as it was the night itself. Rum, ditch, drama, homeless kid at the El and Metra station, my getting stuck on barbed wire trying to jump the tracks at the Davis Street stop, and the kid on the train that had a backpack full of beer….

Reviewsic: What are your plans for your music in the next year?

Marc Harman: To do what we’ve been doing. Working on material. Recording the next three installments of our EP Series. Playing shows, working on our fan base. All that kind of stuff. We’re just trying to get out there and make badass music that people will enjoy. And that’s all I have to say about that.



The Forty Whacks
"Dying is So Last Year" [EP02] (Release date 6/12)
Storm the Palace
Get Your Hands Off my Girl
Ants & Aphids
Heaven Denies Me

The Forty Whacks
"The Death Of..." [EP01] (2010-2011)
Ever Since that Day
DeathbyElectric Car
New Pathology

Recorded, mixed, and produced by Mr. Dan Precision & The Forty Whacks @ The Bomb Shelter, Chicago Illinois.



Members: Kati Olson-vocals, Tom Rutledge-guitar/vocals, Todd Rutledge-bass/vocals, Marc Harman-drums. Formed in 2009.