When: Sat., Dec. 8, 10 p.m. 2012
Nearly a decade ago guitarist Ben Chasny joined noisy Santa Cruz psych-rock band Comets on Fire after what was only meant to be a collaboration with his solo project, Six Organs of Admittance. They made two albums together as Comets on Fire, and when the band went on hiatus in 2008, Chasny poured all his energy back into his solo efforts. For the strong new Six Organs album, Ascent (Drag City), he recruited his old Comets bandmates to provide extra firepower on nine blazing songs (though he takes all the solos, relegating Ethan Miller to a support role). The music on Ascent isn't as unhinged and bludgeoning as Comets, and it has a precision that's missing from Chasny's earliest stuff—the new album's sharp, searing version of "Close to the Sky," for example, sounds much more soulful and full-bodied than the shambling, washed-out acoustic original on 2003's Compathia. The streak of Eastern tonality that Chasny's been delving into with the trio Rangda makes an appearance too, especially on "They Called You Near" and the driving opener, "Waswasa." This collaboration (likely a one-off, since Chasny is touring with an entirely different band) sounds a tad jarring compared to previous, more low-key Six Organs albums, but its infectious, giddy blast of psych-rock certainly validates Chasny's decision to hook up with Comets on Fire ten years back. —Peter Margasak Blues Control and Scott Tuma & Mike Weis open.