Formed in 2003, when they took their name from an intentional misspelling of the infamously decadent Greek city of Sybaris, bassist Shawn Podgurski, guitarist Phil Naumann, vocalist Angela Mullenhour and drummer Eric Mahle have been pegged as up-and-comers since their self-titled 2005 debut for the indie Flameshovel Records. Now, with a lot of touring and even a few big festival gigs under their belts, they’re back with an even stronger second disc, “Into the Trees,” out soon on a slightly bigger indie label, Absolutely Kosher.
Thanks largely to Mullenhour’s gutsy vocals -- which evoke a cross between Veruca Salt’s Nina Gordon and Louise Post, with hints of Courtney Love and Polly Jean Harvey -- Sybris’ roots in the alternative rock of the ’90s are obvious, though that’s hardly a bad thing: The group decorates its anthemic, radio-ready choruses with a driving groove and plenty of swirling, atmospheric guitar noise resonant of the best of the shoegazers or Smashing Pumpkins, while generally avoiding any “woe-is-me” self-obsession. (Some things about the alt era aren’t missed at all.)
The group is streaming mostly older tunes on the Web (www.myspace.com/sybris), but you can sample one new track on the Absolutely Kosher site (www.absolutelykosher.com/sybris.html), or you can turn out in person to hear the material live at the band’s record release party at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., on May 9.