Magik Markers, Melkbelly | The Owl | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Magik Markers, Melkbelly Recommended Free Soundboard Image

When: Thu., June 12, 10 p.m. 2014

During Magik Markers’ decade-plus together, an enduring part of the band’s appeal has been their, um, prowess at sounding like an unraveling ball of yarn—whether it’s being batted by a kitten or set ablaze and blasted out of a cannon. Over the years this experimental noise-rock group (which recently became a trio again with the addition of bassist John Shaw) has gradually tightened up its patchwork rhythms and dialed down the heated proselytizing of front woman Elisa Ambrogio, but that doesn’t make the recent Surrender to the Fantasy (Drag City) any less raw or adventurous—just less rudimentary in its execution, with what seems like a mirage of song structure. Ambrogio’s vocals are also higher in the mix, now that she’s grown into the role of front woman. Magik Markers continue to elaborate on their old sound even as they develop a new one: “American Sphinx Face” is a decomposing mess that sounds like a poetry slam pasted onto schizophrenic guitar, while “Young” is a delicate acoustic track whose chamber-music strings melt behind bewitching vocals. Magik Markers also play at Bohemian National Cemetery on Fri 6/13 with Silver Apples and Wrekmeister Harmonies. —Kevin Warwick

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