Local Indy band Maccogallo brings punk energy infused with a healthy dose of pop on their debut album.
This week, we’ve been a little all over the place. We kicked off the week with The Mighty Righteous and their funky, rock and blues sound. Then we hopped over to hear a jazzy track from Porch Kat’s new EP, followed up by dipping our toes into the world of punk with The Orchard Keepers. If anything, today’s song of the day was inspired by some residual effects of punk from The Orchard Keepers that must have seeped into my brain while sleeping.
But today’s song of the day from Maccogallo isn’t just straight up punk. It brings with it some interesting pop vibes and aesthetics that don’t seem like they’d fit, but do. But before we get into “Split Shake / When You Go”, here’s a little more information on Maccogallo.
Maccogallo is a relatively young band, but that hasn’t stopped them from doing what they do best – putting out good music. After releasing their first demo in 2018, Maccogallo has put out a wealth of material, all leading up to their debut album, “Hounds”, which came out last month.
This seven piece punk rock / indie pop band from Indianapolis strangely reminds me of a punk infused version of the power pop supergroup The New Pornographers. That may seem like a strange comparison to make, but hear me out. They both feature a large ensemble of musicians, tend to lean toward pop, and pass the mic between multiple lead singers. Granted, these are relatively small and general comparisons to make. But when listening to a song of theirs like “Split Shake / When You Go”, I can’t help but get the feeling that the two groups share some kind of aesthetic.
The credit for Maccogallo’s creative and interesting approach to punk goes to the whole band, but especially to vocalists Sean Smith and Lilly Ullrich. Smith brings out the more straight up punk side, while Ullrich contributes the softer, indie pop. The real brilliance of Maccogallo is their ability to combine these two genres that seem as though they’re at odds, and deliver songs that honor them both, and bring them together.
Split Shake / When You Go
“Split Shake / When You Go” is a good example of Maccogallo reconciling their disparate genre influences. Ullrich takes the lead on this track, and she couldn’t have done a better job. Her voice fluctuates between a slightly breathy delivery and a strong belting that displays her power and control.
The first half of “Split Shake / When You Go” is soft and mellow, with a pleasant melody juxtaposed with Ullrich’s melancholic voice. The lyrics here use concrete details and vivid imagery to tell a story of loss and pain. Here’s just one example of the kinds of lines you can expect to hear.
“Crisp air cold it doesn’t hurt
The ache comes later, knuckles turned
Coffee tastes like pencil shaving
Gagging, grasping on the pavement”
The verse sections here take a turn in tone at the chorus, which brings a drunken, disorienting sort of energy to it. The difference here is one example of the juxtaposition between their more bittersweet, poppy side, and the jilted, off-kilter punk. This change can be seen in the lyrics, as well.
“Hang up phones and photos
Glass case, half shame
Full force, my knees
Split shake, split shake”
The final section of “Split Shake / When You Go” brings out the heavier side of Maccogallo. Transitioned with a banging, rhythmic drum pattern, Maccogallo absolutely nail the climactic finish. After listening to it, it’s kind of incredible that they were able to restrain themselves for the first three minutes.
If after listening to Maccogallo’s “Split Shake / When You Go” you don’t think they’re going places, listen to it again. Then listen to their whole album “Hounds”, and then never stop listening. Maccogallo is a pure joy to listen to. And while their Bandcamp profile simply describes them as “a band that will someday not be a band”, we can only hope that that day won’t come for long.
If you enjoyed listening to Maccogallo’s song, “Split Shake / When You Go”, you can listen to more of their debut album, “Hounds” by visiting their Bandcamp page.
Finally, for more coverage on the local Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local artists from the Indianapolis community.