Legend has it that Josh Siegel, frontman for dynamic Chicago Post Punk trio Bailiff, left behind his studies at Berklee College of Music and returned to his Chicago home to form a Rock band, immediately posting a Craigslist ad looking for other musicians that asked, “Do you consider Radiohead to be soul music? Do you hear Muddy Waters in between the notes on the White Album?”
Like the oft tossed around description of the band as “Zappa fronting The Black Keys,” those two Cragslisted questions (which attracted drummer/founding member Ren Mathew) don’t come close to describing the nuanced, progressive Indie Rock of Bailiff. But it does offer a good starting point, as the band bends highly memorable melodies around a compellingly shape-shifting soundscape that twists and turns like the best of Radiohead while also showing the influence of Post Rock, Indie Pop, Prog, Psych and Blues Rock throughout.
In 2008, Bailiff started earning attention outside of the Windy City with the EP release Mm Hmm. It was a strong first offering, but it was 2011’s stunning debut full-length, Red Balloon, that found the band in full artistic stride, showcasing the diverse elements that have made them so difficult to precisely classify. The band began touring nationally and, with such a varied sound, was able to open for artists from across the Indie music spectrum, playing with everyone from The Lumineers and Dawes to Dinosaur Jr. and JEFF the Brotherhood and earning a steady stream of new fans with each explosive show.After playing with various bassists, the band landed multi-instrumentalist Owen O’Malley as a permanent member in 2012. Last year, Bailiff launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund its latest release, Remise, which came out this past spring and finds the group as eclectic as ever, touching on everything from Electronic to Celtic music, while never losing its own unpredictable yet distinctive vibe.
BAILIFF with NEAR EARTH OBJECTS play MOTR Pub Friday, July 18. More info here.