Since his first 7-inch single in 1995, Chris Mills has consistently expanded his musical palate with each new release. That initial 7″, entitled Chris Mills Plays and Sings, and the 1996 EP Nobody’s Favorite featured minimally produced, 4-track, acoustic-based recordings that showcased Mills’ “older-than-his-years” vocals and his knack for writing beautifully dark songs. Since it was the height of the “No Depression” movement and Mills resided in Chicago, he was quickly tagged with the “Alt-Country” brand.
But Mills had more ambition than to become another acoustic guitar totting, singer/songwriter. His first full-length album, 1998’s Fight For Your Life, electrified and rocked-up Mills’ songs surrounding him with bass, drums and an occasional piano or cello garnish. His next album, 2000’s Kiss It Goodbye, added more strings and horns to the production. While both albums were basically straight-ahead rock records, they contained enough twangy guitar and downbeat acoustic material to endear him to the No Depression set.