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The Race

The members of The Race think differently than us, which translates to incredibly unique pop music. The forces at work here confuse the equilibrium, delighting with the psychodramas that we curse but can't live without. The Race began in their native Chicago as a duo with Craig Klein playing guitar and singing and Kevin Duneman playing the drum kit. Note that Kevin has displayed his well-defined drum style in a number of other groups, including Chisel Drill Hammer, Ativin, Telefon Tel Aviv, and Slicker. These two began playing with said simple lineup but soon became restless, bringing in more instruments than they could play at one time, including drum machines, keyboards, basses, and extra guitars. Soon their friend Steve Art became a permanent member, giving their recordings a more orchestrated sound and making it easier for them to play live.

Klein's vocals waver with a dire need to share his sensitivity. He's like a more fatalistic Thom Yorke or a more tuneful Tim Kinsella, but decidedly unique. The Race's second album, The Perfect Gift, on Flameshovel Records, contains song structures and sounds that sometime allude to the works of Gastr del Sol or maybe a more straightforward and analog Joan of Arc. Definitely hard to pin down, The Race continuously morphs into compelling new guises, often making listeners smile and scratch their heads.

Their first album, Chicago Ruins Everything, is even more straightforward and stripped-down, as it relied solely on the duo. The album was released by a short-lived Chicago label called Swey Records and only a few copies made it to stores. Hopefully someday this fine album will be more widely available.

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