"This the first time I've been able to be in a band that feels like [the band] I've always wanted to be in, just in terms of mutual enthusiasm you know?" says Make Believe frontman Tim Kinsella. "I wish I could have started this project ten years ago, it would have saved me a lot of trouble."
Instead of resting on the laurels of their previous acts (Joan Of Arc, Owls, GhostsVodka, etc.), Make Believe fearlessly forge ahead, connecting the dots between avant-indie acts like US Maple and Polvo with the emotion of say Minor threat all the while sounding absolutely nothing like any of the above. In other words, Make Believe are just four really talented dudes in their 20s trying to reinvent punk rock the only way they know how.
Shock Of Being, recorded at Chicago's Electrical Audio studio with Steve Albini, finds Make Believe's first full-length both illusive and strangely accessible: Zurick's unorthodox guitar riffs sound like the soundtrack to an alternative-universe video game, while drummer Nate Kinsella alternately holds things together or tears them apart. In the meantime, bassist Bobby Burg lays down the low end, while Tim Kinsella spits out pointed phrases that act less like a narrative voice and more like a dynamic instrument unto itself. And that’s the first 30 seconds of the first song.
In the last year alone, Make Believe played 125 shows and released a well-received 5-song EP, confounding audiences with a live set that can only be described as volatile. The band hammers it out on stage with a total sense of abandon, Tim Kinsella undulates up front while cousin Nate plays double duty with both his drum kit and simultaneously providing the Wurlitzer's skronk and squelch. Recalls bassist Burg of a recent performance, "Tim's microphone cord got caught underneath a microphone stand, and it flew up in the air and hit me in the head. I got knocked-out and had to go the hospital. We only played for, like, 15 seconds."
More recently, Make Believe finished up lengthy tours with indie-darlings The Good Life, the dastardly dudes in Hella, and Kill Rock Star's ever earnest Paper Chase, proving that while their music can be incredibly complex, it isn't solely a one dimensional party. "Generally speaking, it seems like we've gotten really good responses from anyone we've played for," Kinsella continues. "A lot of people seem to be telling us this is the best thing we've done, and a lot of people who had sort of given up on JOA seem to be into it."
However, there's only so much a one-page bio can tell you about a band. The best way to begin to understand Make Believe is to see it for yourself. Love it or hate it, we promise it won't sound like anything else you've ever heard before.
So, what are you waiting for?