With their mutating time signatures, intricate guitar interplay and ever-shifting syncopations, math rock bands can produce more glazed expressions than two variable differential equations. But that's not the case with Don Caballero, whose hairpin time changes and supple melodic maneuvers are more roller-coaster ride than graduate dissertation.
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The linchpin is founder Damon Che's maniacal drumming. He's seated in the middle of the stage, and his compadres surround him as he bends the groove into musical origami across their frenetic arrangements. Shimmering guitars bounce freely from dissonance to melody, climbing crags of rhythm with the spastic twitch of a seizure before resolving like a sitcom in the last final moments. It's like Sonic Youth for the jam-band set, a rumbling cavalcade of muscular riffs and off-kilter beats corralled with the grace of Michelangelo sculpting chaos. Left for dead after Che dissolved the band three years ago, Don Caballero's return (minus any original members aside from Che) offers a must-be-seized opportunity to witness a band whose albums do little justice to the energy of its live performance.