Last week Chicago postpunks Meat Wave released their third album, The Incessant, inspired by the stumble into singledom that singer-guitarist Chris Sutter took a couple years back, which ended a 12-year relationship. Sutter recently talked to Noisey about his confronting the breakup in song: “I never wanted it to feel like a ‘woe is me’-type of thing.” And this album doesn’t. On the rigid, tense “Bad Man,” he sneers, “Before he bit the dust remarked the truth will set you free.” The group lunges into a coiled, syncopated melody, and he bleats, “‘Well I’m a bad man.”
Sutter does the exact opposite of pity himself, though the anguish in his voice encourages you to feel a little empathy for him, even as he boils over with self-hate. You don’t need to go through what he did in order to connect with his performance.
Meat Wave celebrate the release of The Incessant on Saturday at the Empty Bottle with an ace lineup of locals: Paper Mice, Melkbelly, and Foul Tip. On Friday evening they play a free in-store at Reckless Records in Wicker Park.