Chicago-based experimental rock trio RLYR (pronounced “Relayer”) have announced that their eponymous third album RLYR is set for release on May 13 via Gilead Media. The full-length marks a new peak in both songwriting and performance for the trio, which is comprised of some of the most venerated musicians in Chicago’s heavy music scene: Steven Hess (Locrian, Cleared), Colin DeKuiper (Bloodiest), and Trevor Shelley de Brauw (Pelican, Chord). From the progressive-post-thrash of album opener “Distructure” to the sweeping, slow-simmering psychedelia of closer “Codeine Horse,” RLYR’s five songs double down on the band’s trademark anthemics, humanizing their expansive song structures via a panoply of indelible melodies, expansive sonics, and intoxicating catharses, defying simple categorization at every turn.
Mostly written pre-pandemic (with some of the material debuting live as early as the tour behind their 2018 album Actual Existence), the band used the space afforded them to continue to refine the songs. “Once we lost the capacity to play shows, we decided to just bunker down and fine-tune everything,” states Shelley de Brauw. “For some of the songs it was a matter of continual refinement, whereas others, ‘Codeine Horse’ for example, kept expanding and getting more exploratory. The extra time served us well in a lot of respects.” The album was brought to life by engineer Sanford Parker in sessions throughout 2021, recording the album at Chicago’s legendary Electrical Audio and mixing in his own Hypercube Music Studio. Band photo by Michael Vallera.
Cassette tapes packaged in clear norelco case with 3 panel j-card