The late Lou Reed and his bandmates in The Velvet Underground famously influenced pretty much the whole of Indie Rock as we know it. Add Chicago’s Bare Mutants to the list of bands beholden to the Velvets’ primal pull.
Former Ponys frontman Jered Gummere took an extended hiatus after the demise of his previous noisemaking unit, even going as far as to get a day job at a friend’s woodshop. He also had a kid with former Ponys bandmate Melissa Elias. So things have changed. When he finally felt the twitch to make music again, forming Bare Mutants with four other Windy City buddies, it was no surprise that the Velvets would be at the forefront of his mind.
“They’re one of my favorite bands, so it’s hard not to be influenced by that,” Gummere recently told Impose Magazine. “The one thing I was really going for was to make a record that I actually wanted to listen to.
I’ve made some records where I’ve finished them and then I can never listen to them again. I’m a little older now, and I don’t really rock out so much, so I just want to listen to some interesting, depressing, mellow shit.”
Sure enough, the band’s full-length debut, The Affliction, is a down-tempo collection marked by Gummere’s reverb-drenched vocals, narcotically strummed guitars and enough atmosphere to animate an army of Psych Rock ghosts.
BARE MUTANTS play a free show at MOTR Pub on Monday, Dec. 9, with Bummers Eve. Find more details here.