District 97: Screens-2019.

District 97:Proggressive Metal from United States.

Chicago outfit District 97 ride a tenuous line between soaring progressive rock and intricate, technically challenging metal. Fronted by dynamic vocalist Leslie Hunt, they quickly transcended their Midwestern roots in the early 2010s, finding a wider audience across the U.S. and Europe and collaborating with prog icon John Wetton on their 2012 release Trouble with Machines. Despite enduring a handful of lineup shifts, District 97 continued to expand their fan base and hone their creative approach, delivering ambitious albums like 2015’s In Vaults and 2019’s Screens while becoming a global festival mainstay and playing with genre legends like Yes and Marillion. Formed in Chicago in 2006, the initial quartet of drummer/composer Jonathan Schang, keyboardist Rob Clearfield, bassist Patrick Mulcahy, and guitarist Sam Krahn cut their teeth as …


– Leslie Hunt / Lead and Backing Vocals
– Andrew Lawrence / Keyboards, Additional Guitar
– Jim Tashjian / Guitar, Backing Vocals
– Tim Seisser / Bass
– Jonathan Schang / Drums, Percussion

One thought on “District 97: Screens-2019.

  1. District 97 Crossover Prog
    Review by alainPP

    DISTRICT 97 is a group of Illinois who started playing in 2006. In 2010 released his first startled me by his arrangements a little crazy. You could find there a prog rock sublimated by the eccentric voice of Leslie Hunt; rock metal a bit technical, condensed sounds pulling ZAPPA, to FRIPP towards LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, to breaks of FAITH NO MORE of “Angel Dust,” then breaks rave and a title more than 27 minutes out standard! In short, a group with an asterisk to follow! Note that they have released a live with the presence of John Wetton. Bill Bruford also spoke of them, which shows that the group has something different and unique in the musical world today!
    “Forest Fire” begins the album with a riff rock metal, an air groove trend with the female voice of Leslie in line with what was admirably Joe Jackson in its infancy; there are also an almost disconcerting jazzy rhythm, the air becomes epileptic, on the border merger, the chorus am back in the eponymous album of ANYONE who worked in her punk- metal crazy but oh so innovative. “Sheep” in the intro riff planing and energetic exudes a strange, strange with this nasty metal riff and phrasing that seems to glide above logically, bringing us to a building where TOOL, KING CRIMSON or Faith No More could be cited as inspiring, but also in part 2 ZAPPA more jazzy, more “frippienne” too; Attention plays more will be needed to sink into this musical world if you did not know District 97 before that note! “Sea I Provide” little piece more dancing, more pop, more rhythmic and also a low ubiquitous piece to take as an interlude. “Brain and Yarn” comes for the first slap of the album: warm electric piano to Joe Jackson, dual voice of Leslie and Jim quite plaintive, orgasmic rise and crescendique (yes it is a neologism but I like! ) while pace; as the first chords could leave a little circumspect about his singular as there is left for osmosis: note the second part with sax pulling more on the atmosphere “crimsonienne” than that of LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, that they quoted often willingly in their infancy, to listen urgently. “Trigger” from there on a warm way, more curved and less brutal with more singing voice and giving reply to the guitar riff; it becomes energetic, time to take us back to phrasing and an explosive end enjoyable.

    “After Orbit Mission” and the interlude that kills a bass Tim who sends us on Jupiter or Saturn, as did so Michael Anthony of Van Halen in its time, it’s just perfect, time to continue with “Shapeshifter” very rhythmic groove again and there an informed voice, airy, jazzy, leading us on a rhythmic way and finesse, the bass is again paying a pure moment of happiness before the keyboard are put some of its lug; polyrhythms seem here to give meaning to his a priori unstructured but eventually organized. “Blueprint” occurs on a jazzy air SADE, drums with delicacy, giving choirs in search of masters, DREAM THEATER or LIQUID TENSION experment again for singular solo; Voice linking almost sounds too incisive with angelic delicacy. “Ghost Girl” arrives for the second slap to the album soft voice, almost whispered, basic piano to set the tone and nervous break even with this phrasing heard of ANYONE (2001’ll see it’s also amazing!) or that of Faith No More Mike Patton; So the pace up a notch, the voice becomes more present and back to a more manageable pace, this voice seems to stick to instruments, unless it is they who follow the convolutions of Leslie brief when I say that the prog death is a fact, but DISTRICT 97 with its own musicality recalls that children and small children-may give resurgence in the years 2010 and 2020;

    DISTRICT 97 so that the crossover prog, this word does not speak to me, too encompassing genres, too many different groups. District 97 is the intelligent music, original music, good music. DISTRICT 97 creates a sound crucible of tunes, sounds quite new and charming; I leave you, I turn to listen even if it is not my favorite genre; I’m me without noticing!


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