Big Hassle Media
Clearance is an independent rock band from Chicago. The group started in 2013 when singer/guitarist Mike Bellis and drummer Arthur Velez, who had first played punk covers together at house parties while still students at the University of Michigan, recorded and self-released a four-song, 7” EP to figure out how to make and put out a record themselves from scratch. Another 7” EP quickly followed, and the pair quickly started drafting friends to help them play their songs live around town. After two years and change spent cutting their teeth throughout Chicago’s vibrant DIY scene — becoming a fixture on bills throughout the city’s bars, basements, and record stores alike — and with a handful of tours throughout the U.S. under their belt, the group, now rounded out on bass by Greg Obis and another guitar by Kevin Fairbairn, met toward the end of 2014 to record their first LP.
The result is “Rapid Rewards,” a cheekily-titled batch of 13 tracks that capture the mix of anxiety and malaise familiar to the newly adult and municipally independent, delivered with the detached humor, millennial skepticism, and slapdash style of a young band just starting to hit its stride. Taking equal cues from the Flying Nun school of art-damaged guitar pop, classic British post-punk and 90s indie rock, the band mixes eras and styles with ease, resulting in a tightly focused but coolly off-the-cuff album by a group ready to write themselves into your record collection.
CLEARANCE SHARE NEW SINGLE “NONPLUSSED”
RAPID REWARDS OUT SEPTEMBER 29TH
Chicago indie-slack rockers Clearance have released the third single off of their debut album Rapid Rewards. Premiering on The Grey Estates, the track entitled “Nonplussed,” is a slice of classic indie rock gold that sounds like it could have fit nice and snug within a 1993 Merge Records or Matador Records compilation.
Keeping with the album’s themes of uncertainty and weariness of others, yet told through a smirk, Mike Bellis states: “It’s a little bit more up-tempo compared to some of the other songs, and has a kind of bratty, nah-nah-nah-nah melody running through it at some parts. It’s maybe a little bratty lyrically, too, coming from the perspective of just being unimpressed by someone who loves to talk about themselves or puff themselves up in conversation. It’s sort of rolling my eyes at the casual or not-so-casual one-upmanship you encounter in everyday life, with the knowledge that it’s generally the people who aren’t going out of their way to announce themselves to you that are actually getting interesting things done.”
Stereogum debuted the album’s first single “You’ve Been Pre-Approved” saying,”It’s good old-fashioned alt-rock, and the Chicago foursome know what they’re doing, and know how to leave you satisfied by a song’s end.”
Over the past two years Clearance have been releasing singles and 7 inches independently in their hometown of Chicago. Last summer, Unsatisfied Records released a compilation tape called Catalogue Nos. which compiled all of their singles and unreleased material.
The Chicago Reader called the release “…a treatment in lo-fi, jangly indie rock, complemented by a hint of the infectious slacker attitude that made the mid-90s such a blase blast.”
Rapid Rewards is out September 29th and available for pre-order now via Tall Pat Records and Unsatisfied Records.