Shot Baker - Shot Baker (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Shot Baker

Shot Baker (2006)

Underground Communique

How unfortunate it is that Fall Out Boy has become the most well-known name to come out of the Chicago scene in recent years. I'm not going to say Chicago punk scene, because considering the band I mentioned, that would be wildly erroneous. The fact remains however, that Chicago needs a new band to carry the Windy City's torch.

That band, well that band just may be Shot Baker.

Garnering a host of comparisons to such punk giants as Avail and Dillinger Four, these upstarts are beginning their career on the right foot, with an demo chock full of anthemic punk rock sure to make a home in your CD player for a long time to come. Vocalist Tony Kovacs is the glue that holds together this tightly built ship, as his gruff and unwavering delivery is the centerpiece of every song that he lends his talents to, his command and forcefulness is equal parts commanding and endearing. "Falling Apart" shows his diversity, as he's just as comfortable singing over the staggered riffing, as shouting his lungs out at the end of the song when the music really picks up.

And that's another extremely strong element of the music, is the ability of the musicians to make things compelling no matter the pace, no matter the tempo. During the slower, bass driven moments, like the first half of "Awake," they don't so much as lose a step. No, quite the contrary, as they seamlessly kick into overdrive towards the end, complete with some fluid soloing courtesy of guitarist John Krohn. "Sorry Illinois" wastes no time to kick the door down, the lighting quick riffing and relentless drum fills starting right away, with Kovac's fiery vocals not far behind.

This demo serves only as a prelude to a full-length slated for release later this year, and I for one, cannot wait. This band epitomizes the golden trifecta of talent, passion, and relentlessness, and it should carry them right off lake Michigan into the homes of people that love good punk rock all across the country.