Wednesday, November 1, 2023

SYBRIS share official video for "Dead" on Day of the Dead, announce album on Absolutely Kosher

“The band seems to exist in a bubble, suspended in the moment between Nirvana and electronica; but its out-of-time quality proves to be an asset.” — Pitchfork

“Sybris isn’t one of those bands with more guitar pedals than bright ideas. Having a sound is easy; Sybris has songs too, and catchy, well-crafted ones at that.” — SPIN

Chicago band Sybris announces their first album in 15 years, Gold On Hold today and shares the official video for lead single "Dead." The video release comes, fittingly, on the Day Of The Dead, November 1st. Apropos of the band's sardonic spirit, the song titled "Dead" declares their return, along with the relaunch of label Absolutely Kosher Records. Watch/share the "Dead" video, directed by Mark Bachara and Ian Merritt, on YouTube HERE. Hear/share "Dead" on all DSPs HERE.

About the song, the band says, "Being alive is weird as hell. There are times when the choice to have the will to live is made out of a very specific strange and joyous spite when you watch people you love actively choose death. Ain't nothin' more life affirming than death sometimes. That's kinda what 'Dead' is about."

Think about your favorite record by your favorite band. Not the great debuts, but the records that came later, the ones the bands grew into, that upon hearing them, you were in disbelief at how great it was, how great the band had become. Now imagine if it was never released. The band may not have continued as a band and that record, that indispensable album that became a part of your life, sitting on a dusty shelf unheard. This is what happened to Chicago’s Sybris and their third album, Gold on Hold. Recorded in 2011 and finally seeing the light of day 12 years later in 2023 on the newly relaunched Absolutely Kosher label, every bit as great as it was when it was recorded.

Sybris now is the same people Sybris was a decade ago: Angela Mullenhour (vocals, guitar), Phil Naumann (guitar), Shawn Podgurski (bass) and Clayton DeMuth (drums). Clayton had just joined the band, their third drummer. The new line-up was it, exceeding even the bright early days of the band. That’s the year they went into Waveburner Studio in Ohio and recorded Gold on Hold, their third and best album, with engineer Dalton Brand, a childhood friend of Shawn’s. The results were astounding. The record was always called Gold on Hold, but nobody realized how prescient a title that might be. Later that same year, Absolutely Kosher was forced to close doors due to its own mounting debts. Without a label, daunted by the prospect of starting over, the band members went their separate ways.

To Cory Brown, owner of Absolutely Kosher, Gold on Hold remaining unheard felt like a crime. He’d fallen in love upon hearing “Best Day in History Ever” from their first album and released their strong second record, but it was Gold on Hold that delivered on the band’s promise and early momentum. The moment he knew he’d be relaunching Absolutely Kosher for its 25th anniversary, Angela was his first call. “I can’t believe you’re calling me right now.” A week later, the whole band was in.  

Angela’s voice has always been unlike anything else in modern music and, dusting off Gold on Hold after 12 years, amidst a wave of women vocalists, this is more true than ever. Gold on Hold is like a time capsule of what alternative rock could have been, which makes it all the more astonishing, as if it was aged into something better than what followed its making. From the winding opening riff of the epic “Watermelon” through its crescendo into the Halloween-candy sweetness of “Dead,” and the one-two punch of the gutsy shoegaze-inflected “Sing-Along” and the euphoric, propulsive “Horny,” this is alternative rock, like it used to mean, like it should mean, its post-punk bones fusing with its gothy heart into something unbelievably vibrant and fresh. By the time you get to the tentpole D&D anthem “Stag Party,” you’re under Sybris’ spell. Sybris’ Gold on Hold is buried treasure, a time machine, a favorite record that could have been, and now is.

Gold on Hold will be available on LP, CD and digital via Absolutely Kosher Records on February 23rd, 2024. Pre-orders are available HERE.

Artist: Sybris

Album: Gold On Hold

Label: Absolutely Kosher Records

Release Date: February 23rd, 2024

01. Watermelon

02. Dead

03. Sing Along

04. Horny

05. Girl Spice

06. Stag Party

07. Rapture

08. South Dakota

09. Dance

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