Winepress

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Winepress was a Chicago based pop-punk band from Homewood, IL that formed around 1992 and frequently played at the well known, now long defunct Homewood all ages punk venue Off the Alley, and broke up shortly after Off The Alley closed in 2000 after an 11 year run of hosting bands like Winepress, Slapstick, Screeching Weasel, The Queers, Walker, My Big Beautiful, The Arrivals, The Broadways, The Bollweevils, The Smoking Popes, and other south suburban and city bands. They were very much synonymous with Off the Alley and the importance of the sound that venue and its regulars contributed to the early to mid nineties Chicago punk scene. Winepress also played city venues like Fireside Bowl, etc. Despite only releasing a few 7”s, a split EP with The Fighters and appearances on comps (and a now out-of-print compilation (see below for update) called Winepress: Complete Recordings on Harmless Records), Winepress’ sound and many of the other south suburban bands that were their contemporaries such as Slapstick, Walker, My Big Beautiful, The Arrivals, etc. in part embodied that collective sound mentioned above and were an important part of 90s Chicago punk. Their catchy, fun and bratty songs bore a strong resemblance to Screeching Weasel, an obvious influence, sans the belligerence, replaced with more upbeat lyrics and positive attitude.

Shortly after the final show at Off the Alley (which they of course played at), the band broke up. Frontman Ryan DeYoung, a figure in several Chicago suburban punk bands, started the band Wolcott. Since then, Winepress has gotten together for several reunions, and The Complete Recordings of Winepress was re-released with additional material on January 5th of 2013 by Underground Communique Records.

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