Indian Jewelry, Prince Rama, Darktown Strutters, New Fumes

They're spiritual kin of the Butthole Surfers, which is to say wild-eyed freaks bent backward at the psychedelic altar of mind-expanding drone, gritty cacophony and sputtering industrial beats. If there were a soundtrack for America's financial meltdown and the ensuing recession, Indian Jewelry could have scored it. Formed in Houston almost a decade ago, the band revolves around married couple Erika Thrasher and Tex Kerschen, backed by a revolving cast of players. Vocals vacillate between whooping shrieks and speak-sung lyrics obscured in the thick, milky wash of noise. A shadowy presence hovers over each of their five albums like Lord Voldemort, a ghost in the machine fashioning the electronic thrum and dense textures that carpet their swirling rumble. Samples flit in and out like preschoolers at recess, their future trajectory all but unknowable. Though prone to frequent, noisy outbursts, they also feature plenty of dreamy (if still prickly) drift shrouded in a fog of ramshackle guitar, scratchy rhythms and keyboard whorls. Last year's Totaled explored a more aggressive din than its predecessor, 2008's Free Gold! They've promised another blissed-out slab of dark rock experimentation next year entitled Sufi Headbanger. Their live shows are just as bewildering as their records.


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