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Aural Hedonism

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 29, 2005 5:37PM

Sybris has its roots deep in the Chicago music community. Trumpets a pretty impressive pedigree, the group boasts members of local legends Kelly 18 and Tekulvi. Kelly 18 was well known for their blustery Bacchanalian din while Tekulvi was respected for their emotive songs laced with razor sharp intertwining guitars. So when word came out that these heavy hitters had paired with a completely unknown vocalist they met in a bar, a few in the music community could be forgiven for scratching their heads.

2005_07_sybris.jpgChicagoist caught the band at one of their very first shows and was at the forefront of shushing the naysayers. Sybris, from the very beginning, built up controlled walls of chaos through which Angela Mullenhour’s vocals shredded and sliced. Here was a front woman as a siren in the most classic sense as her voice drew people in only to dash them against the rock and/or roll that surrounded it.

The group worked hard, touring constantly and then performed the rare task of continuously getting on high profile bills locally based on nothing more than the buzz surrounding their raw talent and striking music. During this time the group busied themselves recording their self-titled debut and perfecting the music that would go on to fill that album.

The album has been well worth the wait and the band has gone through great pains to insure the clarity of their studio work reflects their live sound without stripping it of any of its chaotic soul. Guitars miraculously crash and churn while somehow evoking tender and wistful melodies. The true stand-out, though, is Mullenhour’s acrobatic vocals that veer from Edie Brickell sweetness to riot grrrl rage and back again, often in the same lyrical line. The whole package is undeniably entrancing.

Tomorrow night the band finally unleashes their new album on the masses with a release show at Subterranean where they will share the stage with another up-and-coming band of heavy hitters, Okkervil River.