Chicago-based post-punk trio Luggage have announced the release of their third full-length, Shift, due out on November 22nd. Recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago with Matthew Barnhart (Shearwater, The New Year) handling the engineering duties, the album was recorded almost entirely live (with the exception of vocals and a few minor overdubbed embellishments). As a result, Shift bears Electrical Audio’s trademark hi-fidelity perfection and organic purity. The band members’ disciplined restraint and frequency-specific contributions allow the listener to hear every instrument, every nuance, and every tonal deviation. The calculated limitations on Shift not only serve to capture Luggage in their purest state, they capture the entire essence of Chicago. It’s as imposing, rigid, and cold as their environment, but also thrives with life within the confines of its monolithic constructions.
Shift will be released November 22nd via Corpse Flower Records and is available for pre-order here. Below you can read about the band’s biggest influences, whilst you’re listening to the track ‘Cam’ exclusively here:
Low – Secret Name
Michael Vallera (guitar/vocals)
I don’t think there is a single record that has influenced my approach to guitar playing more than Secret Name. Alan Sparhawk’s style is so reduced and purposeful that it redefines the guitar in these songs, separating it from the common tropes of rock music and establishing it as a new tool. His playing erases everything superfluous and feels almost like a microscope into his sense of melodic interplay. This combined with the equally nuanced and patient performances of Mimi Parker and Zak Sally result in something incredibly special. I could also talk endlessly about the weight and poetics of the lyrical content throughout the entire record.
When I first found Secret Name, I believe I was around 19 or 20 years old and had never heard anything remotely like it, and certainly nothing operating at that pace or intensity. It’s a hallmark of the Albini/Electrical catalog for me, and a record that I revisit and continue to be inspired by constantly.
Sonic Youth – Murray Street
Michael John Grant (bass)
At my age, a lot of bands and musicians I grew up loving are either defunct or have passed away. So I don’t take it for granted being around to see one of the most important bands of my life put out, what I think, is their greatest work. Sonic Youth’s Murray Street definitely finds itself in my top three records of all time for a lot of reasons. The record shows the band being themselves in such an honest way, that a lot of artist can never reach. The song writing itself displays maturity and refinement that can only be achieved by playing together for 20+ years. Even the classic, chaotic noise parts sound so meticulous, they could have spent months perfecting them or could have been done in one take, and either would impress me.
Kim Gordon has always been an inspiration for me as a bass player, not as a shredder, but for her dedication to the sound. This record is no exception. Murray Street is a cohesive piece of work, where all members are not looking for solos or stand out points, but to create a record that is unselfish, challenging and contemporary.
This plays a lot into the Luggage ethos, as we are all big fans of this band and especially this record. When we write and when we record, the only thing that matters is making material that has the strength to make the listener feel something. Just like Murray Street does for me.
King Crimson – Red
Luca Cimarusti (drums)
Coming simply from a drummer’s standpoint, this is the all time greatest, even if it’s maybe slightly overlooked by a lot of mainstream rock historian types. People spend hours and hours breaking down what makes drummers like Bonham or Moon or Peart so great, but Bill Bruford doesn’t get analyzed in that way, and I think it’s because his playing, especially on Red, is so mindbloggling that it would be simply impossible to do so. A mix of heavy power and obtuse dexterity, Bruford’s work remains untouched to this day. Truly a shame that he just straight up retired.
Part of what makes King Crimson so special if their ability to completely capture a specific vibe and feel for each of their records, and that’s something we worked really hard to do when we made Shift. When you put on a Crimson record, its sound and look and feel fully suck you into that world, and that’s such an important element to that band, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I think we did a pretty good job of making that happen when we made this record. It’s hard to pick my all-time favorite King Crimson lineup, but the Red era was them stripped down to a powerful and raw three-piece, the only time so few people have been in the band. Cut the fat, no bullshit, just crushing jams front to back. I’ve always been a sucker for a trio, and this might be the best one to ever play together.