The Black In Sickness & Health
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In Sickness And Health


In Sickness and Health is a digital-only EP. The first 300 orders come with a limited-edition, numbered 18x24'' poster designed by Danny Black and silk screened by Crosshair Silkscreen. On the back of the poster, is a download code for the new album— If you want INSTANT access to the EP, visit the Amazon or iTunes links.

The Blacks alchemical balance of orchestral punk, rootsy psychedelia and gut bucket snarl conjures many reference points, but remains uniquely theirs.

Full Description

One of the truly original and exciting bands to emerge out of the late 90's Chicago, The Blacks burned bright for two albums (1998's Dolly Horrorshow and 2000's Just Like Home) then flamed out under their own volatility.  After a decade of life's detours and dead ends, and after a buoyant reunion show at the Bloodshot Records 15th Anniversary Hideout Block Party in the fall of 2009, the stars aligned, drinks were poured---but not too many, and the record that was never supposed to happen happened.  It only took ten years.  From frank summations of a lost decade to soaring expressions of defiance and resilience, In Sickness and Health shows that The Blacks have lived enough to be weary, but weariness need not breed submission.

Book-ending the EP are stark confessionals that could be comfortably sung in a dimly lit basement studio or on the railing of a bridge.  As we enter a new decade, singer/guitarist Danny Black’s near-whispered “Ten Years" is the theme song for blown chances and wasted time, while bassist/singer Gina Black (classically trained, but beats and bows the stand-up like few others) sings “If It All Falls Through” teetering on desperation, her voice cracking and breathless with resignation or hope, it’s hard to tell.  Maybe she doesn’t even know.  Maybe it’s the same thing. 

In between are four songs bursting with sanguine energy. From the Flaming Lips soar of "Can’t Explain" to the Tom Waits gutter poetry of "Bottled & Flat" to the X inflected fractured romance of "I’m In Love," The Blacks alchemical balance of orchestral punk, rootsy psychedelia and gut bucket snarl conjures many reference points, but remains uniquely theirs.  Guitarist/singer Nora O’Connor, (who spent much of the past decade singing with Andrew Bird, New Pornographers, Neko Case and Mavis Staples, as well as releasing the solo album 2004's Til the Dawn), with her simple raw and melodic playing and ethereal bluebird of a voice, and drummer James Emmenegger, all wide lapels and flailing arms, round out this, the classic line up of the Blacks, and make them more than the sum of their parts; their particular talents and demons making for fertile and exhilarating turns, and the production making for an intimate headphones record, suitable for when you're low or when you're high.

Short Description
  • In Sickness and Health might be our favorite thing the band has ever recorded. The EP's six songs are marked by the four distinct musical vices in The Blacks coming together to create something both louder and softer than their earlier work, almost as if the intervening years have allowed the quartet to breathe more easily amongst each other and create something that is both accessible and powerful.

    — Chicagoist
  • My closest approximation: think of the band add some twang and make them much looser without sacrificing tight songwriting. Add some female vocals. That’d be a good first impression word painting of this band. There’s a looseness that’s old school in an age where every band seems to be run through a computer. The songs all rise up from a certain swagger. They’re rhythm driven with hooks to keep you there. They make up an assured “fuck yeah we’re back!” that’s hard to disagree with.

    — Assualt Blog

Track List

  • 1. Ten Years
  • 2. I'm In Love
  • 3. Can't Explain
  • 4. Young and Beautiful
  • 5. Bottled & Flat
  • 6. If It All Falls Through


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