Ian Svenonius — spastically charismatic frontman for Nation of Ulysses and the Make-Up — loves shtick, though he prefers to call it “philosophy” or “manifesto.” That’s not a slight: His smash-the-state proselytizing and fervent audience instigation always make him an arresting figure.

With Chain and the Gang, a sloppy, spare, garage-blues outfit, he dials back the energy, leaving the winking lyrics somewhat over-exposed. When the band’s clattering, it’s great fun (“Why Not”), but leave the tongue-in-cheek (or is it?) spoken-word title track at home and release the rock instead.

–          Spin