THE PRESS RELEASE: “What do you do when pain blots out joy? How do you learn to take care of yourself? What happens when the things you think are helping end up doing the most harm? Auto-Pain is the sophomore album from Deeper, a record that finds the band embracing open space, using synths to create shadows where bricks of guitars once would’ve blocked out the sun. The group — singer and guitarist Nic Gohl, bassist Drew McBride, and drummer Shiraz Bhatti — were all graduates of Chicago’s rich DIY scene who came together around their love of Wire, Devo, Gang of Four, and Television. While the new record is still within the Great Lakes post-punk tradition of their debut, the album isn’t as insular as its predecessor; it’s less interested in pile-driving and more willing to dwell in liminal spaces. Guitars enter the picture precisely, locked bass grooves propel things forward. Drummer Bhatti, who is half-Pakistani and half-Native American, embraced the drumming patterns he’d heard growing up at pow-wows, channeling the anxieties of his heritage into his playing and keeping the group grounded when they switch into all-out percussive attack. The result is an album both more nuanced and catchy.”
MY TWO CENTS: These Windy City indie vets surgically gene-splice the finest elements of classic new wave and vintage post-punk. That means plenty of clanging guitars, prominent basses, robotic backbeats and nervous, vaguely paranoid yelping from their frontman. Their pain is your gain.