Credit: courtesy the artist

Chicago four-piece Pinksqueeze should be in the rotation of any local indie-rock connoisseur, and not just because of their skill with their instruments. Sure, these twentysomethings play with the confidence of seasoned veterans who’ve been gigging since before they were born. And sure, their musical chemistry gives an affable warmth to everything they play, whether it’s a quiet, tender passage or a big, reach-for-the-stars chorus. (Full disclosure: Bassist Anna White is a pal and an occasional Reader contributor.) But more than anything else, I like Pinksqueeze because of their blunt, playful irreverence, which they use to poke fun at a style of music with a reputation for self-seriousness. The punky, gnashing “WTF Is Bubblegrunge” mocks the sexist structures of canonization that have warped pop history, which would have the public believe that only white men make important music. The band also catalog the sexism they’ve faced in the male-dominated ecosystem of live music, skewering this depressingly routine buffoonery with thoughtful, thorough lyrics delivered in clipped but often exasperated talk-singing. “WTF Is Bubblegrunge” appears on the group’s new self-released debut album, Be Gay Have Fun, and their wry humor makes their criticism of gender norms (and the vision of contemporary young queerness it implies) even more effective. Pinksqueeze prove that defying the indie-rock status quo won’t keep you from making joyous, irresistible music—in fact, it might be a prerequisite.

Pinksqueeze Abject Horror and Cloud Houses open. Sat 5/20, 7 PM, Cobra Lounge, 235 N. Ashland, $18.54, all ages