Chain and the Gang, In Cool Blood
Simultaneous impulses of ambition and deconstruction
Chain and the Gang’s ethos is best summed up in one particular line that pops up about 10 minutes into their new album In Cool Blood: “I don’t believe in free love/ All those kisses and hugs.” It’s not just the anti-romance that registers, but the fact that “free love” is still considered a cultural scourge. As per usual, multifarious author/singer/scenester/DJ Ian Svenonius and a loose band of collaborators penetrate late-’60s rock clichÃ©s with a “know your enemy” philosophy, perverting and subverting them into undeniably catchy retro rock where the sarcasm is as thick as the distorted riffs. Not for nothing is In Cool Blood‘s centerpiece called “I’m Not Interested (In Being Interested),” and split up into two songs — it’s just another self-referential display of CATG’s simultaneous impulses of ambition and deconstruction.