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Familiarizing oneself to The Kickback may seem like an exercise in confronting consistent sets of seemingly opposing ideas: A band that prides itself on its love of Muppet Christmas specials and youthful naiveté but has no problem admitting to a paralyzing fear of death and decline. The group seems to strive for brutal honesty, all-the-while realizing they’re a pop band playing pop music. Even the membership of the group itself may seem odd: one-half brothers from South Dakota, one-half Chicago transplants from Washington D.C. and Mexico.
Comprised of brothers Billy (vocals, guitar) and Danny (drums) Yost, Eamonn Donnelly (bass) and Jonny Ifergan (guitar), Chicago’s The Kickback is a result of the brothers’ emigration to The Windy City from rural South Dakota in late 2009 and the subsequent Craigslist pleas seeking out band members. The group’s music (with songs exploring journalists banding together in the early 1980s to battle the decline of print journalism through sheer ultra-violence to the emasculation of trying to protect the woman you love in a city you don’t understand in a body you know is eventually going in the ground) have earned the group wide praise from Rolling Stone, Sound Opinions contributor Jim Derogatis, You Ain’t No Picasso, the Chicago Tribune, and many more.
After a steady two years of touring and supporting acts like White Rabbits, Smith Westerns, Here We Go Magic, Tapes ‘n Tapes, and Telekinesis (all-the-while earning a reputation as a stellar and explosive live act), the band has released Kill Fee, an EP of live takes and studio recordings in the Fall of 2012. The group is currently working on their debut LP at Public Hi-Fi Studios with Jim Eno tentatively titled Sorry All Over The Place, after a footnote in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.
To document their travels, the band began recording their podcast, DISASTOUR, in December of 2010. They are nearing their 80th episode. The show attempts to address the far-from-glamorized lives of a band on the road and the arrested development indicative of the lives they have chosen.