Melkbelly’s juxtaposition of weird and pretty keeps getting more perplexing | Music Review | Chicago Reader

Melkbelly’s juxtaposition of weird and pretty keeps getting more perplexing 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

click to enlarge Melkbelly

Melkbelly

Courtesy the Artist

Chicago four-piece Melkbelly are best known for playing what you might call noise pop. Though they employ guitarists with a knack for wiry, minor-key interplay, a drummer who pays homage to Brian Chippendale, and a singer who can flip the switch in an instant from sweet Kim Deal croons to blood-curdling screams, they also inject their songs with as much undeniable melody as harsh dissonance. On the brand-new Pith (Wax Nine), Melkbelly continue their growth in both directions. Their pop side shines brighter than ever thanks to the majestic vocal hooks of guitarist-singer Miranda Winters, so that a casual, surface-level play-through of Pith could persuade you that it’s simply a great indie-pop record. On further listens, though, you can hear the band’s ongoing weirdness—that aspect of their sound has become more sophisticated and subtle, but it’s also more complex and intricate. “Sickeningly Teeth” creates a dizzying juxtaposition by colliding a sad, beautifully sung verse with a rhythm that constantly changes speeds. “LCR” climaxes with a catchy chorus anchored by explosive Lightning Bolt drums. And album centerpiece “Kissing Under Some Bats” starts as an upbeat, danceable number, then gives way to nearly ten minutes of dark, spacey, psychedelic drones. It’s always been exciting to try to make sense of Melkbelly, and with Pith they’ve become even more perplexing.   v

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Related Events

  • Melkbelly, Facs, CB Radio Gorgeous

    Melkbelly, Facs, CB Radio Gorgeous @ Sleeping Village

    • Sat., April 3, 9 p.m.
    • Buy Tickets

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories