Best cross between the Breeders and Lightning Bolt | Best of Chicago 2015 | Music & Nightlife 2015 Critics' Picks | Chicago Reader

Best cross between the Breeders and Lightning Bolt


Melkbelly wrangle the tidal-size tension and release of noise rock with expert hands, pushing its blown-out frenzy inch by inch toward endearing indie pop. On last year's Pennsylvania (Automatic) the four-piece contort cinder-­block bass, scraggly guitars, and brash, crackling art-punk drumming into all sorts of different shapes; the album's longest song, closer "Scrupulous," has time to transition from a lumbering, swooning melody into a blitz of heavy-hitting, hypnotic guitars that sound almost like a raga. Front woman and guitarist Miranda Winters sings with flair, her vocals veering from sweet and coy to sinister and fierce—and onstage she sounds positively battle ready, her unhinged caterwaul blending in a strange sort of harmony with Melkbelly's erratic, forceful racket.

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