U.S. Maple's music is like Frank Gehry architecture, Stan Brakhage cinema, or Andy Kaufman humor -- you either get it or you don't. Usually, those who get the Chicago math-rock/no-wave quartet's live avant-noise deconstructions undergo epiphanies on a par with Chilean peasants who just saw the neighbor's porcelain Virgin Mary statue weep blood. And those who don't would probably love to escort the band to the airport after the gig, making sure they board a flight to permanent exile in the most remote corner of the globe, if not another planet.
The group's most recent release, Purple on Time, is probably the most accessible of its five-album canon; there's actually a bit of sense -- and even some near-hummable melodies -- to be found amid the grating guitar lines, willfully weird dynamics, vagrant rhythms, and "singer" Al Johnson's oblique phrasings and discomfiting wheeze. But compared to, say, Sonic Youth, this is some out-there shit. Not sure if you're up for the U.S. Maple challenge? Only way to know is to experience it for yourself.
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U.S. Maple is scheduled to perform on Friday, May 28, at Modified Arts.