Punk and funk sound of The Effigies new LP is rock and roll the way it’s supposed to be

By Greg Dunlap

“More than any other band they define the ‘Chicago sound.'” So says Ed Dante in the liner notes of The Effigies’ new LP, and never was a truer word spoken.

Much like their contemporaries Naked Raygun, Articles of Faith and Big Black, The Effigies found themselves a sound which set the city on its ears. As they expanded and built on that sound, the Effigies released some of the best records the city has ever seen, the earliest of which are compiled on remains Nonviewable, just released thanks to Roadkill Records.

Although their roots are in ‘70s punk rock like The Ruts, The Buzzcocks and The Damned, The Effigies do not simply mimic that sound as some bands have done. Instead they were inspired by this music and set out to create a sound which was based on that music, but which was entirely their own.

Another thing The Effigies did differently is that just like all great songwriters, they put as much thought into their lyrics as their music. These cover a wide variety of topics here from the crash of flight 191 (“Bodybag,”) to working for the big corporation (“No Progress”, “Quota,”) to Nazi riots than ran through Evanston (“Mob Clash”).

In fact, in most ways “Mob Clash” comes as close to defining The Effigies sound as any other song on the record. A grooving powerhouse of punk and funk, “Mob Clash” propels you through these riots as vividly as if you were sitting in your living room watching it on the Channel 5 news.

Since the records chronicled on Remains Nonviewable are long out of print, and this lineup broke up after the last record chronicled here (the Forever Grounded LP), this new wax serves to enlighten those of us who weren’t aware enough to catch this brilliance the first time around. If you are into rock and roll played like its supposed to be, with feeling and power, then check out The Effigies.

And in case you can’t find Remains Nonviewable in local record stores, the LP can be mail ordered from Roadkill Records, PO Box 37, Prospect Heights, IL, 60070-0037 for six dollars. Believe me, it’ll be one of the best uses of your hard earned green you could ever find.