A One-Two Punch of Rock

Both these bands are stretching the boundaries of their sound and others’ expectations. Pelican’s third album, City of Echoes, soft pedals their usual throb, taking their complex art-metal instrumentals in a more melodic direction. The tracks are still dense but don’t unwind as far, getting through each thematic movement with heretofore unseen concision. The interplay of guitarists Laurent Schroeder-Lebec and Trevor de Brauw reaches another level, as they move closer to the prickly churn of bands like June of ’44 or Rodan (after all, they are from Chicago), leaving behind dark stoner-gloom for something more supple and subtle. Thrice rode the crest of emo’s second wave, scoring a deal with Island for their third album, The Artist in the Ambulance, which achieved the apotheosis of the post-core bluster, tightened and polished to a dull sheen. More observation than complaint, there was nowhere for Thrice to go but the ambitious, meticulously layered, stylistic schizophrenia of 2005’s Vheissu. Aggressive, beautiful and somewhat overwrought, Vheissu begat their latest project, Alchemy Index, Vols. I-IV, which splits their different sonic elements into four album sides, each exploring a distinct aspect of their sound. Circa Survive is also scheduled to perform.
Sat., April 19, 6:30 p.m., 2008