By: Natty Morrison
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Sometimes a band sneaks up on you. But sometimes a band sneaks up on everyone. Such is the story of Windy City’s rising livetronica stars The Coop
. For the past eight years, this Chicago quartet has been quietly building an army of loyal fans in and around the Midwest.
Armed with a fantastic new 5-song EP –A Fleeting Glimpse
—The Coop are looking to double down on their recent success. And in an age where it seems every jam band wants to play 4 on the floor dance beats, The Coop have miraculously figured out how to set themselves apart. Part of that is thanks to the pure skill and talent of all four players. Cason Trager’s heavy hitting bass combined with drummer Jake Barinholtz’ frenetic drum attack gives way to walls of dripping synth courtesy of new member Joe Re. And then there’s the guitar. Oh, my goodness the guitar. Danny Biggins, with his laser-guided guitar riffs, crazy-as-Zappa phrasing and a well-oiled instinct for crescendos and climaxes, is a star amongst up-and-coming jam guitarists. But aside from their chops, the three main composers (Biggins, Trager and Barinholtz) are damned good writers too.
The title track oozes groove, without sacrificing any of the melodic muscle. “Next Year” is a low-end work-out, with Trager and Barinholtz trading off rhythm comps while Biggins and Re paint a slap-happy portrait. The Biggins-penned, “Fiber Octopus” re-imagines Phish’s proggier leanings in a way the Disco Biscuits or STS9 never bothered. Veering between gorgeous soundscapes reminiscent of DJ groups like Avalanches or even Blockhead, and furious King Crimson-style riffing, “Fiber Octopus” is one monster of a cut. And though the group has remained vocally silent onstage for years, “Mindfully Enough” finds the quartet working with original vocals for the first time ever.
Though the album is short, if this is any indication of what’s to come, The Coop looks to be a heavy hitter in it to win.