Pterodactyl

Thursday, November 17, at Hailey's Club in Denton

Brooklyn trio Pterodactyl just keep getting better. Their 2007 self-titled debut showcased a squalling math-rock act that combined the disjointed angularity of Don Caballero with the noisy atonality of early Sonic Youth. The largely instrumental album was more intriguing than particularly enjoyable, though their live show tapped vibrancy and dynamism the album lacked. Their second release, 2009's Worldwild, tamed the noisier extremes, sharpened their songs and brought mantra-like tripartite vocals to the fore. It wasn't catchy so much as mesmerizing, suggesting hippy art-rock not far removed from Akron/Family. No hooks, nor anything resembling verse-chorus-verse, but the songs were more concisely focused and recognizable as songs. It was a step forward, though still probably more the province of experimental music fans. Their latest, Spills Out, is an even more dramatic advance. While still predisposed to trippy, vaguely haunting tones, the songs explore melody more intently with big moody three-part harmonies. Songs such as the "The Break" or the album-opening "Searchers" manage a strangely exultant acid-folk you can actually hum. It's still somewhat woolly with subtle spiky slashes of guitar lingering beneath the surface, but the vocals bring melody to the center of the songs, imbuing them with a pretty, hypnotic allure.

 
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