Cult Objects, Greg Electric
Since 2013, Melkbelly have cloaked forward-thinking pop-songs with a shroud of disjointed rhythms, feedback, and noise. It’s a pretty great trick. Peel back the layers of the group’s rich and colorful sound and you’ll grip the simple and true melodies that lie within the discord. It’s as you move in closer that Melkbelly comes into focus: thoughtful artists who’ve dedicated themselves not only to their community, but to surprising hooks that explode in cathartic cacophony.
Born out of a Chicago DIY circuit that champions collaboration and experimentation across genres, the modest family affair began in earnest when the guitar team of Bart and Miranda Winters joined forces with drummer James Wetzel. The combo of a minimal-pop duo and a drummer who lashes at his kit like it’s being swarmed by wasps was steadied by the propulsive contributions of Bart’s brother Liam on bass. From a freak noise-rock project, Melkbelly morphed into a rising Chicago rock band, releasing a series of dazzling EPs before dropping an inventive and original debut full-length.
On that first album, 2017’s Nothing Valley, Miranda’s sometimes delicate, sometimes sneering vocals floated above the palpably synergistic shredding, with her and Bart’s dual guitar gnarling as complementary forces. Thrashing rhythms, idiosyncratic riffs, and eerie anthems: Melkbelly’s distinctive aesthetic held together practically in defiance of itself.
As the members of Melkbelly have grown together, they’ve played internationally-recognized fests like Pitchfork Music Festival, opened for the Foo Fighters at hometown stadium Wrigley Field, and gigged alongside their most formative influences: Built to Spill, Lightning Bolt and the Breeders. Spending time with bands whose music shaped them expanded their musical vocabulary and sharpened their collective songwriting abilities.
Cult Objects is three best friends who live in a tree stump and scream about toxic relationships and the American healthcare system.
“Just who is Greg Electric, and more importantly, are they here to save us all from monotonous music? Welp, Greg Electric is a new band from Philadelphia, a DIY super-group of sorts, and yes… they most definitely are here for that. The band, which features current and former members of Nine of Swords, Ted Nguyent, and Loose Tooth, released their self-titled debut EP today, a furiously skronky beast of hardcore yelps and tangled chord progressions. Rachel Gordon’s (Nine of Swords, Baby Mollusk) vocals offer that perfected bite and bark balanced with detached concern, teaming with disdain between a melodic and rhythmic approach. The band, Mike McGilloway (guitar), Dan Wolf (drums), and Kian Sorouri (bass) dart back and forth, guitars intertwining as the rhythms quake behind them. It’s all delivered with an agile chaos, densely working up fits of sputtering rage and sludgy grooves. The band set up sing-song melodies just to shatter them with brutality moments later. It’s all pretty menacing and abrasive, and it’s a most impressive debut.” -Dan Goldin – Post Trash