For being such a disconnected series of small towns wired together through twisting roads and a tenuous connection to Chicago, the suburban Illinois scene has come out with some downright incredible bands in the past and exists as a surprisingly interconnected network of musicians and groups. It’s not uncommon for people to drive two or more hours to come to a local show in another suburb, and the shows themselves are like big old family reunions: you may not know everyone, but dammit, by the end of the night you’re going to, and seeing the people you already know is a sublime experience in and of itself. Point is, it’s a wonderful group of people that have come together in DIY spaces to make great music for one another, and so today, it’s super cool for me to get to bring a part of the scene I know and love to a larger audience by premiering the debut album from Split Tongue, an up-and-coming post-punk group from the suburbs of Illinois.
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Broken Sink is at once desperate and glorious, awash with dreamy tones and pained vocals, mixing a post-punk sensibility with a more aggressive, noisy, experimental sound for a combination that sets your teeth on edge with wavering feedback at the same time as it lulls you into a trancelike state with pulsing, shimmering guitars. Drawing as much from post-rock and shoegaze as it does from punk to form something equally energetic and emotional, Split Tongue takes influence from bands like Sonic Youth and Wild Moth for their trademark sound. As is typical of any punk variety, it’s a short album: five tracks, none over three minutes, are split up by a triad of noisy interludes. What it lacks in time, though, it makes up for in content; every song is put together to combine a myriad of sounds that vie for the listener’s attention, separate strings that the trio of musicians weave together to form an album that lays heavy on the ears like thick cloth, suffocating, yet still warm and inviting.
If I haven’t made it clear enough yet, Broken Sink is great. It’s short enough to be catchy and instantly replayable, yet textured and methodical to the point that subsequent listens reveal deeper intricacies in the band’s performance and production. And it’s a free download on bandcamp, too! Check it out. I’m sure you’ll dig it as much as I do.