There’s no such thing as too much reverb for Chicago’s Sybris. The nine tracks on the band’s self-titled debut album are practically drowning in it. Every component of their sound — frontwoman Angela Mullenhour’s soaring vocals, the massive drums, the buzzsaw guitars — resonates like it’s ten feet underwater. Notes ring out long after their initial attack, flooding the sonic space.
But Sybris isn’t one of those bands with more guitar pedals than bright ideas. Having a sound is easy; Sybris has songs too, and catchy, well-crafted ones at that. The low-key “Blame it on Baseball” is a bloody valentine to early-’90s alternative rock, and “Breath Like You’re Dancing” sticks around just long enough to get stuck in your head before it explodes into cacophony. The echo isn’t there to obscure any compositional deficiencies, just to facilitate the spacey vibe. “Good Internal Clock,” the album’s climax, begins in Sybris’ native Chicago and winds up on Mars.
The band is comprised of singer/guitarist Mullenhour and three dudes she’d probably never hang out with, if not for their notable musical abilities. Phil Nauman’s combustible lead guitar work is the perfect complement to her nimble vocal cords, and the powerful rhythm section maintains a solid pulse, even during some of the music’s flightier passages.
According to their official website, the band took its name from an intentional misspelling of an ancient Greek city, likely to ensure maximum Google-ability, something that might help during their two CMJ Music Marathon appearances next week. Sybris is out now on Flameshovel.
Sybris at CMJ:
9/14, New York, NY (Scenic – Solid PR & Chord Magazine daytime event) 9/14, New York, NY (169 Bar – Flameshovel/Pretty Activity CMJ Showcase)
Link: Sybris official site