By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Jun 01, 2005 at 5:21 AM

{image1}Chicago's Clyde Federal have been rocking, in one form or another, for three years now. Despite a couple additions and subtractions to the band, they've managed to maintain a catchy pop rock sound that has been likeably compared to Elvis Costello, The Kinks and even Belle and Sebastian.

They've been praised by Punk Planet and the Chicago Reader. They've shared the stage with Rilo Kiley, Ambulance Ltd. and Saul Williams. But what they haven't done is recorded a full-length album yet.

"Clyde Federal started as my attempt to make music without doing all the things that bands are supposed to do, like publicity, touring and the whole business side of it," says frontman Michael Lyons.

Lyons and his bandmates, Joe Cannon, Mike Bulington and Mike Renaud, took a different approach to the whole band thing. Where most bands rely on an album to establish their sound and image, Clyde Federal sought to avoid that type of characterization by doing the exact opposite. Since 2002, they've released a series of stylistically-varying EPs and a 51-minute collection of homemade and live recordings.

"To me, pop music is about communicating with strangers, and the less context the listener gets when they first hear a song, the better," says Lyons. "Each EP we've put out documents what the band sounded like playing together in the same room on one particular day. They are all pretty short and schizophrenic so nobody ever really gets a full picture of what Clyde Federal is."

Whatever their system may be, it seems to be working. Even without a full-length disc, they have played shows with The Gossip, Stereo Total, Andrew Bird, Archer Prewitt and The Figgs. On June 4, they head to Milwaukee to play with Contraphonic labelmates The Five Mod Four at Points East Pub.

But times are changing for Clyde Federal. With the addition of guitarist Joe Cannon and bassist Mike Renaud, the band's sound is more cohesive and impressive than ever, prompting the boys to leave their wayward past behind and get into the studio already.

This summer promises Clyde Federal fans what they've been waiting for: "Disingenue," the band's first full-length album.

"I've been itching to make a coherent album that is meant to be heard all the way though, and that's what "Disingenue" is," says Lyons. On tour, they've been playing "Trans" and "Dear Life," off the yet-to-be-released album.

And when you've got a good thing, why not run with it? Lyons says that he'd like to start making another record this summer that would act as a companion to "Disingenue." "I've constructed it in my head, and for now, it only exists there."

In the meantime, catch Clyde Federal play a slew of songs already existing in the realm of well-written music on Saturday at Points East Pub.

Clyde Federal's Web site is

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”