Demo2DeRo: Red Eyed Legends

October 12, 2008


The Chicago quartet Red Eyed Legends has hardly been prolific -- the group doesn't gig out a lot, and it hasn't released anything from the recording studio since "Mutual Insignificance," its debut EP in 2004. To date, it's been most noteworthy for its members' indie-rock resumes: Vocalist Chris Thomson is a veteran of Circus Lupus and Monorchid, and guitarist and Farfisa organ player Kiki Yablon did time in the Dishes. (Bassist Ryan Weinstein and drummer Paul John Higgins are also scene stalwarts.) But the band deserves both a higher profile and a name of its own, thanks to the release of its new album "Wake Up, Legend."

Dominated by Thomson's deliriously snotty vocals, which fight an ongoing death match with the rollicking rhythms and guitar and organ riffs so steeped in the garage aesthetic that you can smell the Valvoline, keepers such as "Don't Make It Go Too Fast," "Felt Like Being a D---" and the lead-off track "Monsters" comprise the sort of timeless punk that could hail from any era or locale -- San Jose in the '60s a la the Count Five, Cleveland in the '70s like the Dead Boys or Boston in the '80s like the Lyres.

The band's sounds can be sampled on the Web at www.myspace. com/redeyedlegends and onstage at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, when it plays a record release party on Saturday on a bill with Mountain High and Headache City starting at 9 p.m. (The cover is $10; for more info, visit