Photo: Courtesy Filligar

Filligar is in a whirlwind of shows right now. The Chicago rock quartet has been making bigger waves in recent years—they received a nomination for best rock album at the 2012 Independent Music Awards, they recently released a new album, Hexagon, and they just played Taste of Lincoln Avenue after a two-week tour in Azerbaijan (as part of the State Department's Arts Envoys program).

The group has an ability to adjust their shows to the venue, something bands often overlook but that becomes more possible with eight recorded albums (five full-length) under your belt. For the ongoing American tour, the group makes a big clockwise circle around the country, hitting all the usual live music destinations, even some smaller ones at the request of their fans.

Filligar's sound isn't necessarily well-served by comparisons to other groups. They exist in a realm of rock often dominated by less-than-innovative-sounding songs, the curse of generic garage rock or "American" rock groups. These four guys (three of which are brothers) have been able to resist that stigma and create a hefty discography of songs that still stand in the American rock tradition without stepping on any cliches or overused vocal styles. Johnny's lead vocals have the subtle grit and melodic variety to feel truly authentic. On Hexagon they continue to evolve. >"I think on certain parts of this album we delved a little deeper into the psychedelic realm of what we do and simultaneously kept some straightforward kind of alternative rock." 

He says that might be misleading though, since this newest album was recorded differently than the last ones. Instead of knocking out all the songs in intensive sessions, they spread out the recording over many months of tour and life.

"We listen back now and it's kind of a confluence of all the music we had been listening to over the past few years. It's like a little bit of a yearbook."