When: Fri., Feb. 8, 10 p.m. 2013
On the recent Heads Full of Poison (Cuneiform), Ahleuchatistas have wiped away almost every trace of their early sound—an exhilarating and densely detailed but somewhat amelodic and monochromatic variety of instrumental math-rock. The rigorous complexity and technical precision remain, but guitarist Shane Perlowin and drummer Ryan Oslance now infuse their dizzying machinations with more space, lyricism, and stylistic variety than ever before. On album opener “Vanished,” the two of them zigzag in perfect unison, with Perlowin damping his strings to produce a brittle oudlike twang that calls to mind Middle Eastern music; on the episodic “Future Trauma” they lacerate the song’s shifting ambience with percussive explosions, feedback, and scurrying noise, then break into a warped surf-rock climax. The title track roams all over the place, with Perlowin’s playing seeming to reflect stringed-instrument traditions from Greece, North Africa, and China, among other locales; Oslance prods and pushes the guitarist through an intense, ever-mutating series of melodic and rhythmic patterns that’s as exciting as it is exhausting. I loved the focus and exactitude of Ahleuchatistas’ early stuff, but its narrow tonal range meant it rarely surprised me—with the current version of the band, though, I never know where I’ll end up. —Peter Margasak Buke & Gase headline; Ahleuchatistas and Hemmingbirds open.