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Baruch the Scribe - Dan's Silverleaf - 3/2/12

Baruch the Scribe Dan's Silverleaf Friday, March 2

In what seemed like a battle for most effects processors and pedals, Denton's Baruch the Scribe headlined Dan's on Saturday night with the Coves, Botany and the very slick, very talented Gold Beach out of Austin. Their new seven-song LP, Intentions, is a harsh evolution from their first EP, Evil Memories. While both are experimental and conceptual in nature, Intentions is much more daring. Lead singer Judson Valdez banged on the strings of his guitar with a drum stick, as though that's the way he was taught to play.

The first track, "On the Land of Education," demands your attention with an opening monologue about the predatory nature of religious brainwashing, and was a standout upon first listen. Also shining off the polycarbonate plastic of their album are the sweet, acoustic tracks like "One Must Be a Sea" and "With the Thoroughness of God."

At times they invoke the Mars Volta or King Crimson, Ministry, Zappa, Elliott Smith, and perhaps even a dash of Carly Simon. OK, maybe not Carly Simon, but Baruch the Scribe doesn't seem to be exclusionary in the realm of potential influence. Drummer Chance Maggard, when asked how he would sum up the band, gave me a 1,000-yard stare before acknowledging he couldn't accurately do so.

By the way: The record is worth a listen, though it's hard to say which everyday situations are most complimentary to the music. I would picture doing LSD while marching in a parade, clad in a suit made of duct tape. But I mainly just listened to it in the car while running errands, and that was fine too.

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