Monday, March 21, 2011

Chicago Tribune on Population (3/22 w/BLOODYMINDED)

From the Chicago Tribune

Devotion to goth resurfaces on Population cassette demo

By Jessica Hopper, Special to the Tribune

Being in a band is often the fulfillment of a teenage dream — the chance at rock stardom, the thrill of the stage, the freedom of the road. Population's formation was an actualization of the five members' adolescent fantasy, but for entirely different reasons. Now it's cool to be goth. "We were all into the type of music we play in high school, but people made fun of it then," said keyboardist Jessica Skolnik. Their tastes moved on, and all of the members found themselves playing in punk or hardcore bands. But last year, after toying with the notion for a while — the quintet formed, bonded in tribute to and love of the group's gothic roots.

Population's demo — which has won it a small legion of fans in and outside of Chicago — will sound welcome and familiar if your life was ever defined by your asymmetric haircut, trench coat and a tape of The Cure. Hedging around dark new wave, anchored by a gloomy, synthetic forcefulness; some of the band's previous punk breeding remains, evinced in how terse and propulsive its songs are.

While the band has been omnipresent on the underground shows and house parties scene since fall, it is starting to become known at legit venues around town. "The DIY scene is very much what we are a part of, our intent, our community, and that's important to us," said Skolnik.

It also explains why Population opted to release its demo as a cassette — keeping things small, personal, releasing something that is special, rather than just a product to sell.

"We did a demo on cassette for a couple reasons, one being the return of cassette tape. So many people are doing interesting and unique things with packaging, making it a work of art," said Skolnik. "(Label owner) Ryan (Lowry) from Lifetime Problems, who is releasing it, did a beautiful job — it's an artifact instead of just another CD in a plastic case. There is something in it that's especially appropriate — given that this band is a return to a teenage love."


When: 8:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Abbey Pub,

3240 W. Grace St.

Price: $8-$10 (21+);