In light of season 2 of Stranger Things coming out this Friday, October 27th, I found it absolutely necessary to write a post about a new single from one of Chicago’s up-and-coming indie rock bands, Post Animal. For those of you who don’t know, a guitarist in the band, Joe Keery, stars as Steve Harrington in the enormously popular Netflix sci-fi drama. In a RedEye Chicago article, reporter Josh Terry characterizes the role as “one of the best characters on the show who could’ve fallen straight into the ‘80s douchebag, big-haired popular kid archetype, but manages by the end of the series to be one of the most likable figures.”
The thing that I admire about Post Animal is their ability to blend three distinct genres to create a sound so unique but totally awesome at the same time: heavy metal, psychedelic pop, and good ol’ fashion rock ‘n’ roll. This experimental type of music mirrors a similar level of creativity seen in other Chicago indie rock bands such as Whitney, The Walters (R.I.P), and Twin Peaks.
In addition, the fullness of their sound blew me away when I saw them open for The Walters this summer. From what I have experienced, having six or seven guys on stage at a time — at least three of them with electric guitars, mind you, all playing with their amps cranked past maximum — is generally rare in today’s indie rock scene.
Another thing I love about Post Animal is that they don’t hold back on their ‘80s hair metal aesthetic. Hearing their music is literally like entering a time machine sent 30 years into the past. I didn’t understand why my dad made such a big deal about bands like Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath until I listened to Post Animal’s contemporary spin on the cliché metal band.
You can definitely tell that the six of them genuinely enjoy making music together, too. Check out how much fun they were having playing alongside The Walters during their encore performance this past summer at Lincoln Hall (inserted below). Yes, this video is so poorly shot (by me), but look at all that raw emotion while they throw a badass head-banging party right on there on stage.
Also, how sweet is it that I was able to get up close and personal with them in the front row like that? If you watch closely, you will actually see Steve Harrington from Stranger Things stage-dive right on top of my head. That is just not an experience you can get at bigger venues like the United Center or the UIC Pavilion.
It would be quite pointless to try and analyze the lyrics in their new single, “Special Moment,” since the words are practically incoherent throughout the whole song. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; I think that it’s the whole point behind their music. Unlike most indie rock today, the words to Post Animal’s songs are not meant to be sung along to.
The next time I see them live will be filled with intense moshing, followed by subsequent trips to the back of the crowd to nod my head to the riff and cool down, all before I jump back in to the swaying mass of sweaty bodies to mosh some more.
— Noah Slowik, Fiction Editor & Music Blogger