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Make Believe

Who? For more than a decade, the members of Make Believe have been honing their bracing indie rock sound by playing in Chicago-area emo bands like Cap’n Jazz and Joan of Arc. Vocalist Tim Kinsella and drummer/Wurlitzer maestro Nate Kinsella are cousins, and they’re joined in the band by guitarist Sam Zurick and bassist Bobby Burg. After a year of relentless touring behind their first full-length, 2005’s Shock of Being, Make Believe are back with Of Course.

What’s the Deal? Experimental and lively, Of Course melds the urgency of punk (most songs hover at the 3-minute mark) with the noodling guitars and abrupt tempo shifts of math rock. Big hooks and electric piano dominate the album’s brisk opening track, “A Song About Camping.” Kinsella then trades in singing for screamed spoken word philosophical musings on “Another Song About Camping”: “I can’t help but think, what am I?” he yelps. On the bouncy “Pat Tillman, Emmitt Till,” the band tackle the topic of evolution, a theme that’s also established through the album’s cover illustration of a fish with feet.

Fun Fact: In 2005, Drummer Nate Kinsella was sentenced to two months in an Oklahoma county jail for taking off his shorts onstage at a Christian rock venue. Kinsella made good use of his jail time — he drew Of Course‘s album art while incarcerated. CHRISTINE RICHMOND

Now Hear This:
Make Believe – “A Song About Camping” (Download MP3)

Talk: What does this band make you believe? COMMENT

On the Web:

>> Listen to Make Believe on Napster