Less Pain Forever

One stands, one sits! Both sing, rock and overextend themselves! It's a simple winning concept that every minimalist duo without a bass player has employed to great personal gain, but few have excelled with greater zeal for multi-tasking and whimsy like James Karnes and Chris Pomerenke. Living on opposite ends of the United States has severely hampered the number of Less Pain Forever shows since 2003 (I count fewer than five, including one show where they didn't actually get to play together at all; Karnes did solo material and Pomerenke cursed out his malfunctioning bass pedal). The decision to give it another go has been bolstered by friend Ryan Page (Moog, Frontier Life) executive-producing the first-ever Less Pain Forever full-length album, recorded with Sonic Youth engineer Aaron Mullan. With 10 years of material to choose from, dating back to their days as Lush Budget Presents the Les Payne Product, the results could be as all-over-the-map as the band itself. But if there was ever a time for what Karnes calls "Phenomerrock," it's now.


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