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Anthony Carew

Ian Svenonius's Brand New Bag: Chain and the Gang

By January 13, 2009

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Of recent, the slyly-legendary Ian F. Svenonius has been concentrating on things other than being one of the world's great rock'n'roll frontmen. Like hosting a casual internet chat show, or writing possibly the best book ever penned by any member of any band, ever.

Having displayed his renaissance-man credentials for all the world to see, Svenonius —the former frontman of the Nation of Ulysses, Cupid Car Club, the Make-Up, the Scene Creamers, and Weird War— is back with a shiny new project: Chain and the Gang.

Apparently "concerned that the spread of liberty has been detrimental to the world" —citing "fast food, bad architecture, militarism, rampant greed, environmental destruction, imperial conquest, [and] class struggle" as evidence— Svenonius says his band name is a plea for bondage; a catch-all for his new, tongue-in-cheek anti-freedom movement.

Suitably enough, the first Chain and the Gang album is titled Down with Liberty... Up with Chains! And though C&TG essentially finds Svenonius working solo for the first time since his 2001 album as David Candy, he does get help from such K Records luminaries as label founder Calvin Johnson and Blow heroine Khaela Maricich. If this all sounds intriguing, know that K currently has the entire album streaming, in advance of its rumored late-March release.

If you're diggin' the Chain and the Gang jams, be excited by the news that Svenonius will be hitting the road come April, buddying up for a yet-to-be-completely-booked tour with Johnson's mysterious new project, The Hive Dwellers. But that's another story for another day.

Down with Liberty... Up with Chains! Track List
1. "Chain Gang Theme (I See...)"
2. "Cemetery Map"
3. "Trash Talk"
4. "Reparations"
5. "What is a Dollar"
6. "Interview with the Chain Gang"
7. "Deathbed Confession"
8. "Room 19"
9. "(Lookin for a) Cave Girl"
10. "Unpronounceable Name"


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