MELKBELLY – ” Pith “

Posted: December 17, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Melkbelly sculpts their signature balance between subtle melody and frantic noise on new album “Pith”, their second for Carpark Records/Wax Nine. The Chicago-based foursome has made spatial dynamics central to its arrangements, reaching for weirder highs and more startling atmospherics, negative space giving way to enveloping walls of chaos. This sense of form is reflected not only in the purposeful production, but in the ceramic cover art created by Chicago artist Deborah Handler. Since their 2017 debut Nothing Valley, the members of Melkbelly have an even better understanding of their sonic motivations. “We’re always going to sort through the past to make better sense of the present,” Miranda says, and in doing so Melkbelly continually finds ways to mutate its sound. On Pith, Melkbelly sought space, and succeeded in crafting it. What a pleasure to be let in. 

Recording in two short sessions six months apart, the band worked with long time collaborator Dave Vettraino, this time at Bloomington, Indiana’s Russian Recording. Alongside an arsenal of rock gear and airy synth layers coaxed from a Moog Prodigy, “Pith’s multidimensionality was refined by the studio’s collection of rare Russian tube mics, which were placed in every corner to capture Melkbelly’s unabashed loudness. Frontperson Miranda Winters’ charmingly bright vocals are newly effected, delayed to a menacing, mysterious thickness. Guitars, handled by Miranda and Bart Winters, interlock and separate with dizzying ease, riffs dissolving into floating trails and reappearing with metallic edges. Bassist Liam Winters’ low grooves bounce and kick along with drummer James Wetzel’s rhythmically unsettling performance, which stretches time yet never falters.

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On “Pith”, Melkbelly’s second full-length, the Chicago foursome refine their knotty but melodic noise rock. Singer-guitarist Miranda Winters calls out from murky depths, conjuring memories of loss, anxiety, frustration, and occasional bliss. On standout track “THC,” the band slowly cranks up the tension until it erupts into an onslaught of guitar fuzz. Melkbelly rarely stays in one place for long, whiplashing from one fractured groove to the next, always finding new ways to shift from quiet to explosive. 

Recorded at Russian Recording in Bloomington, Indiana, Released April 3rd, 2020

Miranda Winters – Guitar, Vocals
James Wetzel – Drums, Moog, STS
Bart Winters – Guitar
Liam Winters – Bass Guitar
All songs written by Melkbelly
Lyrics by Miranda Winters

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