Chain & The Gang

March 2, 2011

The latest iteration of the evolving persona of Ian Svenonius, the one time Sassy Magazine‘s “Sassiest Boy in America,” is Chain, of Chain & The Gang. Chain is currently spreading the word regarding the detrimental effects of liberty on civilization through a serious unserious, reverently irreverent version of the blues, complete with his charismatic spoken-sung lyrics and occasional Prince-like outbursts.

Svenonius, of course, is the always energetic, enigmatic and entertaining former singer of the late great Nation of Ulysses, as well as The Cupid Car Club, The Make Up and Weird War. (He is also the author of The Psychic Soviet and host of the online interview show, Soft Focus.) In reference to his previous projects, Chain & The Gang are most similar to The Make Up and their Gospel Yeh-Yeh Sound, and shares much of his former band’s appeal.

Svenonius seems at home fronting this new outfit: back on stage dressed in a retro-fit suit, his band members in old-fashioned prison stripes.┬áHis antics are as deadpan and convincing as ever, a testament to his unique brand of outsider ethos and his ability to remain in character (?) for two decades. (Too bad the critics at the NY Times don’t quite get it.) Chain & The Gang’s latest album, Music’s Not For Everyone, is out now on K Records.

Watch: Chain & The Gang – Youth Is Wasted/Living Rough