Centro-Matic Makes Touring Through Chicago Automatic
By Randy J. Klodz
Centro-Matic, a Denton, Texas-native melodic rock quartet, attempts to play
Chicago each time the band has toured upon its history, one that spans over
seven full-length albums. Centro-Matic is keeping to that credo by playing
once again in Chicago where the band will play Schubas on Feb. 21.
Centro-Matic—which includes Will Johnson (vocals and guitar), Mark
Hedman (bass), Matt Pence (drums, percussion) and Scott Danbom (piano, violin)—released
its most recent album “Love You Just the Same” last September.
And with most mainstream bands calling the Lone Star state home either being
a full-out heavy metal band or a country act, it would seem to an outsider
that there isn’t much room for a mellow-rock quartet to spawn from Texas.
But that isn’t the case. “That’s the fascinating thing about
Texas, to me,” said Will Johnson, “it doesn’t really have
a certain sound to it, but hopefully there is kind of a feel about it that
maybe ties it all together a little bit.”
Though Johnson lives in Texas, where it’s frowned upon to like any
other NFL team aside from the Dallas Cowboys or the Houston Texans, Johnson
has been a fan of the Green Bay ever since he was a young boy. An affinity
for NFL teams and players outside the realm of Texas even led to a track on
“Love You Just the Same” called “Strahan Has Corralled the
Freaks,” which Johnson said is inspired by New York Giants superstar
defensive-end Michael Strahan. “It was just a weird thing that was kind
of going through my brain that day, and I’m sure that I had just got
done watching the Giants play,” Johnson said. “I’m not really
a particular Giants fan—but I am a big football fan—and for whatever
reason I just went in the back room with my guitar and standing around singing
a line, and that was the one that stuck in my head.”
“Love You Just the Same” offers the best of Centro-Matic’s
expansive sound. The album starts with a bang, with the high-low “The
Mighty Midshipman” that is sure to wow live crowds with its electric
guitar solos and tight drum work. Mellow tracks such as “All the Lightning
Rods” and “Flashes and Cables” exhibit tight musicianship
and Johnson’s unique singing voice that borders on Bryan Adams meets
Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
Schubas is at 3159 N. Southport Ave. Tickets for this 21+ show are listed
for $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Show time is slated for 10 p.m. with
Summer Hymns and the Pale scheduled as support. For more info on Centro-Matic
log on to www.centro-matic.com,and for ticket
information log on to www.schubas.com.