‘Man Down’ is the new EP from Chicago-based punk rock band The Usuals and is dedicated to the memory of Steve Katzel, their co-founder and guitar player who passed away in 2020.
This is the first of three EPs set to release before their upcoming third full-length and is out on Legit Records. For the past two decades, The Usuals have been creating punk rock that is catchy and energetic. In 2017, they released their sophomore LP, ‘Earth Sucks, We’re Out’, recorded by legendary producer and audio engineer Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago.
‘Man Down‘ was recorded at The Car Hold Studio in February of 2021 and features refreshed versions of older songs that were favourites of Katzel. It was engineered by Aaron McDuffie, mixed at Brick Top Studio by Andy Nelson, and mastered at Audiosiege in Portland by Brad Boatright.
The current lineup consists of Curt Harrison (vocals), Christopher Heilemann (guitar), Justin Schenck (bass guitar), Phil Warbiany (drums) and Aaron McDuffie (guitar).
“We really wanted to try and do something special as a band in memory of Steve, so we revisited a few of the band’s songs from the early 2000’s that were his favorites to play. ‘No Disguise’ is one of them that we decided to recreate for this tribute,” explains band member Curt Harrison.
“Jeff Pezatti from Naked Raygun asked if he could hear our demos for the new EP. He loved this song and asked to sing backups on it. We were stoked and of course said yes, not knowing what Jeff particularly had in mind, we knew it would be awesome! Putting out this EP, in a sense, helps bring closure and at the same time paves the path for the new music we have been creating.”
“I think Man Down does a really solid job of bridging the gap between past and future for the group, says Justin Schenck. “We pretty much had this lineup’s first rehearsal during a pandemic and were each other’s social circle for the better part of a year. I think this EP really reflects that comradery and bonding we were pushed into. To me, it’s pure Usuals. It’s rowdy, fun, welcoming and the packaging works well as a coaster or rolling tray. So, ya know, that’s a bonus.”
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