Chicago’s Melkbelly is one of those bands we’re bummed we never seem to catch when they’re in New York City. The four-piece has been tearing up the Audio Imposition with repeated plays of “Doomspringa” which we caught randomly trolling through Bandcamp.
Melkbelly’s album Pennsylvania took what we loved in “Doomspringa” and expanded upon it, giving us an album whose pop hook sensibilities meshed well with their intense rhythms where at times every instrument was treated as percussive rather than melodic. At Pennsylvania’s most intense moments it reminded us of one of our favorite defunct New York bands, Pygmy Shrews. Pennsylvania is also an album of gentle songwriting and it is Melkbelly’s ability to alternate between these two extremes which makes their music so dynamic and fun.
“Piss Wizard,” taken from Melkbelly’s new 7-inch Bathroom at the Beach, plays with this dynamism and gives us an extended seven minute riff that crests early and vanishes while the fuzz comes in and fills the frequencies at the limit of your hearing, lulling you into a you warm happy place before you’re implored to “come down from the mountain” in an extended gentle valley where once violent waves now gently lap at you before the song forms a mirror image of itself and goes out the same way it came in, crashing over and against you, pushing you ever forward.
These two songs see Melkbelly working together strongly to focus their sound a bit more than what we heard on Pennsylvania, no longer is there the oscillation between safe gentle music and intense noise, now Melkbelly meets in the middle showing that they are not content with what they have and they will continue to strive and collapse their previous experiences into new forms. We can’t wait to see what they do next.
Bathroom At The Beach is out now and can be purchased from the Automatic Records Bandcamp Page.