Dec 142023
horsegirl and lifeguard

With a family connection between them, the Chicago indie bands Horsegirl and Lifeguard have always been close. We would expect that Horsegirl guitarist and vocalist Penelope Lowenstein and her brother, Lifeguard drummer Isaac Lowenstein, would have had similar musical experiences growing up.  The two bands are currently stablemates on Matador Records and they also are both enthusiastic about acknowledging their influences, such as when Lifeguard covered The Jam earlier this year. Now they have released a joint effort, covering The Stone Roses’ “I Wanna Be Adored.”

One of the many amazing things about The Stone Roses’ debut album is its certainty, right from this opening track. As soon as Mani’s bassline emerges from the sound soup at the start no doubt is broached. The Stone Roses do not want to become the biggest band in the world. They already are, but perhaps the world does not know it yet. Ian Brown and John Squire’s writing conceives of a world where there is no downside to being exalted, only how long it takes to be achieved. The musical and personal swagger is breathtaking. They will be worshipped, and that is a good thing.

1989 was a world without internet social media, the world was much less wary of the downsides of parasocial interactions. Perhaps it is natural then that Nora Cheng and Penelope Lowenstein’s vocals are much less enthusiastic about the chance of being virtually or actually followed by those who love their work. Overall the tone is darker than the original. The musicianship is excellent but there is no hiding that the bands do not have the certainty of their predecessors, as ready for the world of 2023 as the original was for its time.



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