90 Day Men

We Blame Chicago (Numero Group)

Contact Sam McAllister about 90 Day Men

Numero Group announce We Blame Chicago, a 5xLP boxed set compiling the work of 90 Day Men, out January 19th, and present the set’s first offering, “Untitled 01.” 90 Day Men spent a decade boldly in conflict with the world, catering to no one and careening toward its own abyss. Forged by Midwestern teens amid a late-90s spike in angular indie rock, the band wrote itself into the lexicon of Chicago music history. Eschewing trend and time, 90 Day Men was as ornate as it was alienating, transcending genre and embracing the strange. Numero Group’s 5xLP set, remastered by Heba Kadry, collects the band’s three studio albums and a previously unreleased 2001 John Peel Session, plus EPs, singles, and outtakes, all detailed within a 68-page oral history curated by Joan of Arc’s Tim Kinsella.


In addition, available exclusively for pre-order via numerogroup.com is Orbit To Orbit, a bonus cassette which includes 90 Day Men’s first-ever 7”, Taking Apart The Vessel, as well as eight previously unreleased tracks from the band’s earliest days and from which today’s single, “Untitled 01,” is lifted. Clocking in at just over 3 minutes and one of three untitled tracks on the cassette, “Untitled 01” bursts into existence with a looping guitar, before Brian Case’s vocals come in, emphasizing each syllable as the track explodes with rhythmic percussion and guitar. Orbit To Orbit is limited to just 500 copies and will also be included for those who pre-order the “Silver And Snow Variant” edition of the boxed set.


Formed in the summer of 1995 in St. Louis, Missouri, 90 Day Men started as an exercise to write six songs in twelve days. Taking a page from Samuel Yochelson’s book, The Criminal Personality, the band’s name is a reference to cop slang for patients awaiting psychiatric evaluation. The initial trio of Cayce Key (drums), Chandler McWilliams (bass/vocals), and Brian Case (guitar/vocals) pulled heavily from the DC and Touch And Go bands of the era, moving to Chicago in the fall of 1995 and self-releasing their first single Taking Apart The Vessel the next spring. Multiple tours followed, and the band added multi-instrumentalist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe at the end of 1996, who contributed coronet and keyboards, before taking over bass duties after McWilliams’ amicable departure at the end of the year.


1997 saw the band refining their influences into something more personal. Action Boy Records issued their second single, If You Can Bake A Cake You Can Build A Bomb, shortly followed by the  1975 – 1977 – 1998 EP on Temporary Residence. By 1999 the band signed with Southern Records and released the She’s A Salt Shaker b/w Activate The Borders single. During this time, 90 Day Men picked up keyboardist Andrew Lansangan, a childhood friend of Key and Case, and a then-recent Chicago Transplant. Lansangan debuted on the band’s debut album, 2000’s (It (Is) It) Critical Band. Reworded versions of live staples bled into new experiments with space, repetition, and minimalism, embracing the studio as a voice. The album received positive reviews and took the group on their inaugural European and UK tours, culminating with a coveted John Peel session.


90 Day Men followed up their debut in 2002 with their breakthrough album To: Everybody. Conceived and committed to tape in the weeks surrounding 9/11, To: Everybody is 90 Day Men’s stream-of-consciousness answer to who they had become, and how they would navigate the new millennium. Released to a world still in shock from the events of the previous year, the group leaned into their collective vision of the now, while pushing against a landscape that increasingly identified as “post”-everything. With a new focus on repetition and atmosphere, the album coalesced in a free-writing collection of songs that reframed the band’s outsider stats as intentional. To: Everybody received unanimous praise and saw the group embark on a world tour, taking in extensive dates across the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Japan.


Recording sessions for a follow-up began in early 2003, producing the Too Late Or Too Dead +2 EP that fall, followed by the group’s third and final album, 2004’s Panda Park. The culmination of a decade’s worth of uncompromising vision, 90 Day Men created a future landscape so realized even they couldn’t survive its environs. Not even six months after its release, the band would disintegrate, almost exactly 10 years to the day of their inception.