THE SAURUS PRT. TWO by Laminated Cat
>> The instrumental duo Superorder has returned, updating their saga of epic, ambient prog-metal with five tracks quivering with adventure. Ten Cities: Chapters V-IX is the soundtrack to nonstop questing, nonstop conquering, nonstop wanting, as translated into airy electronic instrumentation and power-metal song structures. In the Bush years, this could only exist in a bubble of irony, but Superorder are clearly documenting the step that culture has taken since then, making straightfaced choices in synth runs and major key melodies that feel like they’ve been banished underground since Jean-Michel Jarre was cool. The compositions here are heavily programmed with electronics and beat machines, and augmented by some fairly dazzling demonstrations of shredding of the fretless bass and 8-string guitars. Blast your days off at superorder.bandcamp.com.
>> Happy to find another offering from the reclusive pop geniuses Laminated Cat, whose syrupy, acid-sweetened folk songs always seem to require a few swirls around the tongue. Besides the odd tones of the vocals, Tanner Smith and crew tamp down the psychedelics here, though most of the songs do contain the buried frequencies and lysergically slow pacing that have become trademark. The group has relocated to Boston after bandleader Smith spent 15 years in Maine. Poised with an impressive back catalogue and a pedigree stamped by Georgia pop collective Elephant Six, they could finally blow up. Hear the 8-song new one, The Saurus Prt. Two, at laminatedcatmusic.bandcamp.com.
>> We’ve been totally impressed by how tireless the roots-country duo North of Nashville have been since they started. Those dudes seem to play at least once or twice a week in some parts of the state, and are doing it again this summer, prowling through New England in May before scooting down to south in June. They’ve just released their debut self-titled album (their previous disc being a live one), and should have it to peddle at their next Portland gig at Brian Boru on May 15th. Visit northofnashville.org for more.