a0163693018_16When told about a band called Chickenpox Party, some people would immediately shake their head and change the subject. Not me. I was intrigued. At first glance, I wondered if this was going to be some kind of parody band. Green Jello came to mind immediately. The album cover was a man in a gas mask and their name was an oxymoron; I know that I didn’t feel like partyin’ when I had the itchy virus as a kid. The first track didn’t help much either. A borderline creepy clown skit called Scabby the Clown. But then the music kicked in and I will admit, it was not what I was expecting at all.

Blues. And not just any kind of blues. Classic, groovy riffs set against a lead vocal that you have no choice but to listen to. This is why you should never judge a band by their CD cover. Rock n Roll was never meant to be so serious. Chickenpox Party knows this. They know that their sound is perfect. They also know how to have fun.

As the songs play, they become a part of me. I already know that this entire album will be added to my Ongoing Playlist of Awesome. One of my favorite bands is The Black Keys. There is not a song that this band created that I do not enjoy. That is how I feel about this band so far. There are hints of Dan and Patrick of The Black Keys intermingled throughout this album and I am entirely ok with this. But this is not imitation. This is a perfect example of a band displaying their influences through their own sound.

They are not afraid to really play their instruments. This whole album could have easily just been your typical rock album where each song grew off of standard blues chord progressions. But they found the perfect balance of showcasing their individual talents and keeping with the flow of the album. “Mamacita” slows it down with an instrumental whammy filled vibe with almost a jazzy feel to it. Only to be followed by “Just the Same” bringing that whammy back mixed with enough distortion to show that they truly know how to use their guitars.

And then…this happened.

“This is a man’s, man’s, man’s world but it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.”

These guys have already won me over by this point. But when you can cover James Brown this good and still make it your own, you know you are experiencing one hell of a band.

By now, I have tweeted to all followers that they need to just listen to this band. I have thought of at least a dozen clubs here in Chicago that they would be a perfect fit for and I am about to find out where they are playing next in hopes that it’s somewhere close so I can experience this band live…gas mask and all. If anything comes of this article, they at least gained a new fan. So, put aside your judgmental first impressions and give this band a chance. I promise you, you won’t regret it.




You can follow Chickenpox Party on Facebook.

Extended Plays is an ongoing music series written by myself and my partner James. We listen to music, go with our gut and spill our honest and sometimes brutal opinion all over this blog. We hope you take the time to check out the artists we review for yourselves. We tend to believe that we are always right about everything but the most beautiful thing about music is that our opinion doesn’t matter to anyone but ourselves.



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