The Melismatics formed at the turn of the century in the fertile ground of the Minneapolis indie-rock scene. Their debut album “Postmodern Rock” quickly caught the attention of college radio stations around the country and garnered favorable reviews from critics around the world. Shortly thereafter, Minneapolis indie-rock king pin Ed Ackerson (Motion City Sountrack, The Replacements, The Jayhawks) signed the band to Susstones Records and produced their next two albums “New Infection” and “Turn It On”. The Melismatics toured the country numerous times over and continued to win loyal fans with their high-energy and unpredictable live shows. Their music has been featured on MTV’s “The Hills,” “The City”and “Laguna Beach,” NBC’s “Windfall”; Animal Planet’s “Jockeys” and they’ve played such notable events as Lollapalooza, Summerfest, and CMJ. The Melismatics released “The Acid Test” on CC Entertainment/E1 Music (2008). Renowned producer John Fields caught the band performing at 2007 SXSW in Austin, Texas and signed on to produce the album. The music video for “Digging Deep” charted at #2 on MTVU and received widespread airplay.
The Melismatics’ new album “MANIA!” was produced by Jon Auer of The Posies and Big Star, along with Ed Ackerson (Motion City Soundtrack, Golden Smog, The Replacements) and was mixed by John Fields (Jimmy Eat World, Rooney, Har Mar Superstar, etc). The LP was mastered at Sterling Sound in NYC by Chris Athens (Coldplay, Beastie Boys, NERD, etc) and features collaborations with Dan Wilson (Adele, Semisonic) and Jon Auer who also lends vocals to several tracks.
Led by acclaimed drummer Brad Elvis and vocalist/rhythm guitarist Chloe F. Orwell, Chicago’s The Handcuffs explore broad sonic territory while believing in the power of a great radio hook. Inhabiting some of the same musical domain as T-Rex, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers and Spiders from Mars era Bowie, The Handcuffs deliver bold, sexy songs with memorable melodies and unexpected twists. Known as much for their dynamic live shows as for being prolific writers and producers, their songs have been featured in dozens of films and television shows on Showtime, the CW, NBC, Showtime, MTV, VH1, PBS, HBO, A&E and more. The band has released three full-length albums and is currently working on the fourth. “The Handcuffs are one of the few bands capable of effectively combining the spontaneity and musicianship of glam/punk with the urgency and rough-edged sound of garage rock,” says New Jersey-based rock critic Phil Rainone. “There’s a sexy, swaggering street vibe throughout,” adds North Carolina-based critic Bill Kopp, and the Chicago Sun-Times exclaims that The Handcuffs are simply “effervescent.” Music fans and drum aficionados may recognize co-leader Elvis from a few major label go-arounds during his career and an underground (and, often, not so underground) following of fans of his drumming. Completing The Handcuffs powerhouse garage-glam lineup are bassist Emily Togni, lead guitarist Jeff Kmieciak and keyboardist Alison Hinderliter.
THE REBEL SECT
The Rebel Sect began as an idea in May of 2013. Since then, TRS has blossomed into one of the most unique rock bands of it’s generation. With influences ranging from hip hop, r&b & rap to psychedelic & indie to punk & post-hardcore & even crossing into electronica & classical at times, TRS completely blurs the lines of modern music genres & brings a new take on rock to this intensely digital world. With “The Sea is Silent” LP in the process of being recorded (projected release date : 10/26), a music video for “War Musik” on it’s way & a slue of shows on the horizon, TRS is making a name for themselves that won’t soon be forgotten.
Sporting a sonic kaleidoscope that includes intimate shoegaze, dark new-wave and driving dance beats, Chicago’s Vanarays have quite the pedigree for major success in the area. Vanarays are a consistently shape-shifting entity. This is a band of well-schooled multi-instrumentalists, clearly writing and performing on their own terms with a canyon-wide palette of slinky, ominous sounds.