As if sharing marquees with the likes of Dick Dale, Jack Oblivian, and Swami John Reis wasn’t enough to cement their role as Chicago’s premiere surf band, The Bingers have returned with even more fuzzed-out garage rock!
On the verge of calling it quits after releasing a handful of EPs the band instead pulled together to record their debut full-length album Stay Satisfied. Comprised simply of two guitars and drums the band nails that surf twang but fit right in with the modern garage-rock revivalists.
The self-recorded album was cut right to tape on an old 8-track, with the band teaching themselves to use recording equipment and solder bad wiring connections as they went. The result is a lo-fi sound that perfectly suits the stripped down, raw ’70s vibe.
The appropriately titled “Blues #1” opens the album with a jaunty rock n roll shuffle. “Shake City” kicks up the energy a bit with some hard-hitting percussion and guitars. “Big Operation” is another stone-cold groove that should get folks of all ages up and on the dance floor and helps kick the album off right.
Tracks like “(Killer) On The Loose” sound like The Stooges shoved through layers of reverb and tremolo while “Radical Friends (So Tough)” has more of a lackadaisical “California feel” to it. In fact, much of the B-side of the album takes on a more melancholy tone until you reach the undeniably catchy “Simone”. The memorable guitar hook and falsettos are hard to ignore and will get stuck in your head for days.
“Ocean Blue” lives up to it’s surf-inducing title and gives me one more excuse to use the word “surf” in this review. This album feels old, in a great way. With the recent trend of bands striving to sound like the Rolling Stones or The Beatles many acts seem to fall short and land in the realm of a parody more than anything. The Bingers feel genuine. Stay Satisfied is an album made by a few friends in a basement with some analog tape and that’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s loose but not lazy, minimal but not sparse, and overall a solid record.
With it’s timely release just before the warmer months of the year, Stay Satisfied is poised to be your go-to summer album. It’s the perfect soundtrack for those two or three days out of the year where the Chicago beaches are actually enjoyable. Whether you’re surfing the icy Lake Michigan waters or just surfing the internet this is a damn fun album with some definite replay value.
Catch some of these tunes live and indulge in some 4/20 activities with the boys this Thursday at The Empty Bottle. It’s a double release show featuring fellow locals Peach Fuzz and Glyders. RSVP and get all the details via Facebook.