The Chain Gang of 1974

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The Chain Gang of 1974
The Chain Gang of 1974 2014.jpg
Mohager performing in 2014
Background information
Birth name Kamtin Karimi Mohager
Also known as The Chain Gang of 1974
Born July 31, 1985 (age 31)
San Jose, California, US
Genres Indietronica, electronic, synthpop, indie pop, alternative
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, composer
Years active 2007–present
Labels n/a, Warner Music Group (2012–2014), Modern Art Records

The Chain Gang of 1974 is the indietronica project of American musician and DJ, Kamtin Mohager. "The Chain Gang of 1974" can also be in reference to Kamtin Mohager himself. Mohager was raised in Hawaii and Colorado, and currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

History[edit]

Born in San Jose, California and raised in Hawaii (before moving to Denver), Kamtin Mohager (Nato) joined 3OH!3 as a touring bassist from 2008 through 2010. He self-released Fantastic Nostalgic: The Early Recordings in 2010. That year also saw the release of his full-length debut, White Guts. Mohager moved to Los Angeles to record the follow-up album, Wayward Fire, which was released on Modern Art Records in 2011.[1]

In early 2010, Mohager combined both early EP's into a digital only release titled 'Fantastic Nostalgic: The Early Recordings. Mohager describes his early sound as "all over the place, from a piano ballad to songs that sound like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Primal Scream, or Justice."[2] Zachary Houle of PopMatters called the album "an homage to the '80s, in particular the soundtracks to John Hughes films, and it is, in a word, fun."[3] Pitchfork Media's Ian Cohen remarked that it "ends up less like a living celebration of the past and more like a display case of your favorite synth-pop action figures in their original packaging."[4] David Marchese of Spin wrote that the album "swoons and grooves deliciously, but the lyrics have a distinctly processed flavor".[5] Max Blau of Paste called it "one of the better and most cohesive electronic albums" of 2011.[6] Allmusic's William Ruhlmann said "Mohager convincingly makes the case that there is more to say in the music of the '80s, even if fashion has banished it to its own radio formats and nostalgia tours."[7] Justin Gerber of Consequence of Sound found flaws in the lyrics and suggested that "just about every song could be cut by about a minute", but added that "nearly every song has a beat that pummels you into submission, and that is most definitely a compliment."[8] Mohager received worldwide recognition when his song "Sleepwalking" was featured in the official trailer for Grand Theft Auto V.

In 2012, Mohager signed to Warner Music Group for the release of his third full-length album, Daydream Forever. The album is described as a continuation of the synth-heavy, reverb-laden dreams that made Mohager’s debut album, Wayward Fire, an immediate favorite of the retro set. Production is thicker here, with more elastic bounces. If that means it feels like you’ve stepped into an 1980s night at the local bar (as one reviewer humorously put it), then Mohager has clearly succeeded. This is the guy who wasn’t moved to make music until hearing Tears for Fears in the movie Real Genius, says the legend; when tracks such as “Ordinary Fools,” “You,” “Moksha," and “Death Metal Punk” hit you firmly across the ears with their indelible 1980s-styled hooks, everything is working according to his lo-hi-tech plans. Elements of Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, OMD, and M83 coalesce into a party of their own. “Plum” ends things on a slightly darker Prefab Sprout–style tone.

In summer 2014, Mohager teamed up with DJ/producer Dillon Francis, as well as Sultan & Ned Shepard for the release of "When We Were Young".

In early 2015, Mohager launched a collaborative side project with Marshall Gallagher of Swing Hero titled Teenage Wrist. The band's debut single "Afterglow" received praise from My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way.

2016–present: Felt[edit]

On September 9, 2016, The Chain Gang of 1974 released his single "I Still Wonder".[9] On March 26th, 2017, The Chain Gang of 1974 announced the release of his new album, Felt, which was released on June 23rd through Caroline Records.

Tour history[edit]

The Chain Gang of 1974 has toured alongside bands, including Foster the People, The Naked and Famous, Washed Out, Cibo Matto, ABC, Big Audio Dynamite, Tapes 'n Tapes, Empires, Sir Sly, Miniature Tigers, and Geographer.

Touring members[edit]

Discography[edit]

  • The Dirt EP (February 24, 2007)
  • When The Apple Drops - EP (January 16, 2008)
  • Fantastic Nostalgic: The Early Recordings (January 31, 2010)
  • White Guts (April 27, 2010)
  • Wayward Fire (June 21, 2011)
  • Daydream Forever (February 4, 2014)[10]
  • Felt (June 23, 2017)[11]

Songs in media[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cherrie, Chrysta. "The Chain Gang of 1974 – Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Chain Gang of 1974 on World Cafe". NPR. December 22, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ Houle, Zachary (July 27, 2011). "Review: The Chain Gang of 1974 – 'Wayward Fire'". PopMatters. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ Cohen, Ian (July 14, 2011). "Reviews: The Chain Gang of 1974 – 'Wayward Fire'". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ Marchese, David (July 2011). "Reviews: Albums: The Chain Gang of 1974 – 'Wayward Fire'". Spin. SPIN Media LLC. 27 (6): 70–1. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ Blau, Max (June 20, 2011). "Best of What's Next: The Chain Gang of 1974". Paste. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Album Review: The Chain Gang of 1974 – 'Wayward Fire'". Allmusic. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ Gerber, Justin (June 21, 2011). "Album Review: The Chain Gang of 1974 – 'Wayward Fire'". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ "The Chain Gang of 1974 - I Still Wonder - YouTube". YouTube.com. September 9, 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  10. ^ "Twitter / CHAINGANGOF1974: New album//DAYDREAM". Twitter.com. November 24, 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  11. ^ "Twitter / CHAINGANGOF1974: the new album FELT". Twitter.com. March 24, 2017. Retrieved 2017-03-25. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]