The opening track to the album “Debt” captivates and eases you into Cool Memories circuitous landscape. Like a good acid trip, “Debt” will take you along a winding path of sumptuous sways and melodic meandering. Bouncing back and forth from heavy metal guttural groans and light and lilting 60’s brit-rock, groovy guitar solos and elegant piano interludes these kids know how to carry a tune and base their sound with ample and ambitious range. Cool Memories, vocalists Bret Koontz (guitars and keys) and Chip Hamlett (bass) are unafraid to experiment, untainted by the genre-junkies trying to categorize or limit their range. Rife with airy yet firm, psychedelic trills and thrills, “Debt” stands as an effete homage to Frankaphone and Evoli with less haughty hipster appeal.

Cool Memories’ sound: more visceral and garage, garbage with more elating jam-jubilations then the hip-dee-doo-das would ever brave. Chicago is home to many wanna-be-rockers and hipsters galore, but Cool Memories is a brave and bold band that will stand the test of time. The title track, “Debt,” with its calm and careful composition stands above the rest as a truly inspired and directed ditty, continuing Cool Memories’ robust and ruffian resonance.

Uncredited on the album but vital to the band’s style and sound, Ari Mejia on sax adds the Chicago swag needed to carry this band into infamy. The slow buildup on their hit, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” will surely, send your senses into a frenzy. The palpitations and harmonies on “The Fair (Whites)” echo daring vocals and unrelenting aggression. The album undulates with happy highs and melancholic and mature lows. “Debt” rings soft and stern with sufficient folk strums and lyric elegance.

For more on Cool Memories and their self released album “Debt” check out:

One reply on “Album Review: “Debt” by Chicago’s own Cool Memories”

  1. seriously this album is kinda amazing….there’s not much in the way of rock that gets me going these days but this band and album remind me of why i used to like the loud distorted stuff so much..good review-

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