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On Record: Cities on the Plain, by Gosh!

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Gosh! set the hook in my cheek with "Claire Says," the final track on their new album, Cities On the Plain. The band sounds a lot like T-Rex on that eight-minute song, with the same kind of Marc Bolan restraint, ethereal coolness, and a crunched-out fuzzy lead sound weaving across it with authority. The rest of the record is more subdued than that track. It's all poppy uptempo tunes alternating with some quieter stuff. If it's not breaking new ground, it's covering what it does well. Clearly this is a tight band with focus, and I think the crunch of "Claire Says," helps the rest of the record stand out.

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Gosh! is from Chicago by way of the Quad Cities. On its Bandcamp page there's an unattributed quote about the oppressiveness of small towns and isolation of the Midwest. I couldn't name any bands from the Quad Cities before this, but in terms of origin stories, the "small town band, goes to big city" one's pretty common. What makes them tick is more interesting than the fact that they moved somewhere bigger from a decent-sized regional hub city. Just being Gosh! from the Quad Cities is cool enough.

Gosh! plays the ZACC Below Tue., Aug. 1, at 7 PM, along with Father Deer, Free Music and Marshall Granger. All ages. $5 suggested donation.

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