Kemman is a 3-piece progressive rock/metal band from Chicago that has been around for 15+ years. Their unique sound of "solipsistic prog-metal chuggery" is a complementary blend of mathy rock, punky riffs, and hard metal hooks. Because of this, they have been drawing comparisons to a wide range of bands such as Chicago-great Tar, Don Caballero, as well as Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Descendents, Torche, Rush, The Fucking Champs, and The Police.
The band formed in the early 1990s as a side project of their then current bands Hot Stove Jimmy, Monsignors, and Tango Wedding Band and then more recently Cougars and Rules of Attraction. In the past 3 years, since the breakup of RofA and the exit of Jeff from Cougars, they have been concentrating fully on Kemman. This has been made apparent by the release of their first CD, The Long Rocker (recorded by Greg Norman of Electrical Audio) and more recently their self-produced album, The View From Earth. They have been getting a lot of positive praise in the local, national media and underground rock scene, read for yourself:
Reviews of 'The Long Rocker' and Kemman in general –
"The EP's five songs – of a more melodic, progressive, Van Halen-ish metal-edged, guitar-hero-charged rock – are even more conspicuously interesting in their lack of vocals. Such are the playing skills that one really doesn’t miss the human voice." — Illinois Entertainer.
"Everyone needs those certain bands in their musical life that exist with the simple and single mission of wanting to rock you out. And instrumental math-metal band Kemman are one of those bands. I don't know much about this hard-hitting vocal-less trio from Chicago, but I do know that when they rev up their riffs and the drummer starts getting all delirious on the rapid rhythmic rumbles, they get pretty damn addictive.
They've got a deep and distorted groove going that makes you want to bang that head of yours almost in spite of yourself. After all, who has really "banged their head" since, well, maybe since hearing Helmet's "Unsung" in the 8th grade?
Start with their song "The Long Rocker" which is pretty much the perfect title for what you'll get. It's long and it rocks, so let's not confuse things with obtuse names, shall we?
Kemman have been compared to The Fucking Champs and Don Caballero (who know a thing or two about obtuse track names), but throw in the sludgy goodness that is Torche, too. Kemman kills it. " —from OhMyRockness
"Talk about below the radar: Kemman, a local instrumental trio made up of former members of more commercial bands (relatively speaking) like Hot Stove Jimmy, Rules of Attraction, and Cougars, has been puttering about for nearly 15 years, obviously just for the love of it. This past May they finally got around to a sort-of proper recording—a five-track self-released EP called The Long Rocker, whose slightly rambling and solipsistic prog-metal chuggery nevertheless packs a visceral punch. This week they’re embarking on a flurry of activity (relatively speaking), with two shows in four days. It should be interesting to hear what this music sounds like bouncing off actual human bodies. Tonight’s bill, headliner first: Ultramark, Vehicle, 12 Hour Shift, Kemman, and Cindy Brandle. —Monica Kendrick, Chicago Reader
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