— The A.V. Club
If shoegaze ever restored the pair My Bloody Valentine had, stopped giving a fuck about how arty it seemed and just concerned itself with rocking instead, it would sound a hell of a lot like Sissy Mena. Pulsating with fuzz while also floating with gorgeous angular melodies, the energetic local trio manages to inject surf-rock levels of reverb into its washes of distortion without ever sounding overly busy or contrived...
Sissy Mena (mean-uh) is a three-piece sonic rock band from Chicago. They play loud and quiet and fast and slow, all with their hands and feet.
Singer/guitarist Tyler Brinegar grew up on a farm in Iowa. The son of a farmer and country musician, Brinegar avoided tractors by locking himself in the music room. He soon found that the all the empty space around him could be filled with the simple click of a distortion pedal.
In 2005 Brinegar relocated to Chicago in search of a rhythm section. Two years of handshakes and awkward jam sessions led to hard-hitting drummer Adam Bonich. Brinegar and Bonich, a native of the Detroit area, found common ground in guitar-centric rock and shoegaze. In late 2008, the two connected with bassist. Briggs had recently finished his masters in music theory & composition, and was intrigued by the role of an active bass in a rock trio. The three acted quickly and entered the studio after four months of rehearsal.
Released in late 2009, the Young Girl EP drew positive reviews from The Onion's AV Club, Illinois Entertainer, Loud Loop Press, Timeout Chicago, and many more. Sissy Mena's combination of effected guitar and pounding rhythm section drew comparisons to 90's heros such as Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine, and the Smashing Pumpkins. They spent the next year writing what would become their first full-length record.
In November 2011, after 14 months in the studio, Sissy Mena released their debut LP Record Machine.
Sissy Mena recalls the fuzz-drenched fury of Dinosaur Jr. But the Chicago-based trio also recognizes the power of a strong melody, occasionally dropping the shoegaze window-dressing.
Their songs are built on solid melodies and roaring guitar solos, and it is a mixture that will leave you wanting more.