Tazer rock

By WILL SPITZ  |  September 4, 2008

Since December, they’ve been holed up working on their Hardly Art debut, which they plan on finishing by June and releasing by early fall. They’re keeping other specifics close to the vest, declining to reveal the working title or any of the subject matter. They do offer to play the basic tracks of one song, “Piranha,” but only after I agree to turn off my digital recorder. Mendicino cues up the tape, and as soon as the drums and guitars blast forth, all four members are a flurry of air drumming and strumming. Even in its half-finished state, the song sounds more sophisticated than anything on Pink & Blue or Blue & Blue — “darker and happier at the same time,” is how Lewis puts it. That description elicits a sniff from Mendicino, but it’s right on — an impossibly poppy major-key chorus is subverted by a dissonant and downright abrasive verse. No vocals have been recorded yet, but Mendicino and Lewis sing along for the entire song, visibly thrilled about what they’re in the midst of creating.

PRETTY & NICE + WONDERFUL SPELLS + EXIT CLOV + YOU CAN BE A WESLEY | Middle East upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge | March 5 | 617.864.EAST

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