Toupée, “Leg Toucher”

Amelia Pitcherella

Chicago’s Toupée make a dark, queasy post-punk that’s thrillingly dynamic, something that would sit well alongside hardcore-leaning contemporaries Hit Bargain or noisy skronk-rockers Old Maybe. Last summer the four-piece released their second album Leg Toucher, a brutal collection of 11 songs that creep with unease and muckrake the ugly parts of mainstream culture, shuttling from soft to loud and back at the drop of a hat.

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The LP’s minute-long title track opens the record with the ramming of guitars against a pounding drum, Whitney Allen’s voice careening viciously as she draws out the command, “Just gimme your spiel!” Based on a phone call from Allen’s internet provider who could not believe she didn’t want to own or watch a television, “Leg Toucher” is spliced with the pathetic whimper of “Come on, miss, please don’t hang up on me, I’m just trying to do my job … it’s only fifty channels, miss …” There’s something laughable about the whole gimmick even as it’s terribly familiar, and the accompanying video shot by Ed Bornstein and Mark Riordan taps deeper into the band’s extant bent toward absurdism. Between dizzying live cuts of Allen covered in cords and belting with an unparalleled energy at Chicago’s Empty Bottle, a mustached call operator quavers in the flashing pink light, Toupée having made resoundingly clear that they won’t be touched.

Leg Toucher is out now on Moniker Records and streaming in full on bandcamp. Toupée will be touring the Southwest and surrounding areas in July.

Toupée tour dates

July
04 Chicago at Eco (Rocktoberfest 2016)
05 Des Moines, IA at The Basement
06 Wichita, KS
07 Denver, CO
08 Salt Lake City, UT at The Underground
09 Reno, NV
10 Oakland, CA
11 Los Angeles, CA at Ham & Eggs Tavern
12 Las Vegas, NV
13 Flagstaff, AZ
14 Albuquerque, NM
15 Oklahoma City, OK
16 Lawrence, KS
17 St. Louis, MO at Foam

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