Melkbelly – Nothing Valley (album review)

by Woody on October 16, 2017


I made the mistake to have my first spin of Nothing Valley be in the morning after a shitty night’s sleep. I was tired and irritable; and I am sure the kids were pissing me off. Nothing Valley challenged me and irritated me more, so I turned it off thinking; nope I don’t like it.

Something drew me back a week later. Feeling good after a good day of work, I dialed it up on the drive home. Soon I was turning it up thinking; yep this is excellent. Nothing Valley, the debut LP by the Chicago quarter, gets up in your grill. Consisting of by Miranda Winters on vocals/guitar, her husband his brother (Bart & Liam) on guitar & bass and rounded out on drums by James Wetzel; Melkbelly create some sort of racket.

There’s lots to love about this album whose roots stem from loud brash 90s indie; think Sonic Youth and The Breeders. At times, the album feels like it is coming apart at the seams. It is brash and Miranda’s vocals are excellent as the band careens around; most notably Wetzel’s drumming. Kind of like Bryan Devendorf with The National, Wetzel will at times seem to be reading from a different page; but my word does it add plenty to the music.

There are a couple of tracks that come together in the middle of Nothing Valley that really stand out. Middle Of and Twin Lookin Motherfucker. On Middle Of, the song just keeps revving up; faster and faster; sounding like Wetzel has been cloned. Twin Looking Motherfucker follows up with a guitar lick spawned from the 90s that eventually leads to all sorts of shit. The tune has more twists and turns than an episode of Twin Peaks.

Some day I’ll be too old to listen this stuff. But that day isn’t today. Hopefully that day isn’t yet for you either as this an excellent debut.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Melkbelly is here

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