Sybris' powerful two-guitar, drum-pounding pop makes it clear that the band is a band, even if Angela Mullenhour sometimes receives enough focus to sound like a singer-songwriter with backing musicians. Mullenhour at times sounds like she's croaking her words through tightened throat muscles and around a swollen tongue, a technique that's inexplicably common with young female acoustic-guitar singer-songwriters who want to be the next PJ Harvey. Fortunately, these songs are no coffee-house filler. "Blame It on the Baseball" opens with soft waves of feedback, gentle percussion and the line "You quit smoking on the day I was born," yet the slow-and-sweet sound gradually builds until the guitars are overdriven and quick-strummed into a wall of noise that threatens to drown out her song-ending confessions: "I don't know how to/how to quit smoking/how to fall in love." The debut may be nothing groundbreaking, but the Chicago band sneaks enough hooks into its Albini-influenced post-punk to win over all walks of rock fan.
Recommended For You
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!