Monobody Credit: Courtesy the artist

Instrumental five-piece Monobody have the tenacity and vision to add to Chicago’s storied postrock legacy, and they proved it with 2018’s Raytracing, which borrowed its frenzied energy from punk and metal. On their new third album, Comma (out on Sooper, the label co-owned by Monobody drummer Nnamdi Ogbonnaya), the group maintain the seat-of-the-pants spirit of their previous records while softening their touch and redirecting their energies toward a sound more reminiscent of jam-band music and jazz. Monobody tether frothy keyboards and ostentatious guitar solos to clean, breakneck acrobatics that teeter on the edge of aggression; they constantly remind you they’re capable of busting out the kind of ferocious breakdowns you’re more likely to hear among hard and heavy bands whose chosen genres end with “-core.” But Monobody carefully avoid pigeonholes and cliches while they do it, which makes their brief forays into dental-office smooth jazz sound as brazen as their gnarliest riffs.   v