"Will the white noise of words survive a war declared on signs?" It's lines like these, from "We're All Going to Die," the opening track of Make Believe's eponymous debut EP, that have helped solidify leader Tim Kinsella's notoriety as one of the most pretentious voices in indie rock. But if that's your take, you're not listening closely enough. Since his days in the art-emo troupe Cap'n Jazz on through the equally confounding Joan of Arc, Kinsella has strived to use the ambiguities of language to establish collective ground -- rather than distance -- between himself and his audience. Of course, Make Believe flat-out rocks, too. Twisting the virtuoso guitar spasms of longtime collaborator Sam Zurick with maze-like rhythms and subliminal melody, the band's sound is a puzzle more beautiful when left unsolved. And the act's upcoming full-length, Shock of Being, promises to be every bit as enthralling as Kinsella's elliptical lyrics and enigma-riddled stage presence.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.