The Battle Royale sound like a shifting who's who of indie-pop groups, and that's just fine. Think backslide-y riffs a la Built to Spill, sliding into Shins-like echoey vocals, shifting into Ryan Adams countrified twang, and wait, there's totally some synth-y Timberlake thrown in there, and harmonica! This all tumbles together with the soaring, if less self-reverent, positivity exuded by bands like Arcade Fire and the New Pornographers, and the nursery-rhyme innocence and hug-ability of Mates of State. Is enthusiasm the new black? It might be, and that's also fine. These guys really want to be there, and it rubs off. We need you, Battle Royale, and thank you. With somewhere-in-Wisconsin's the Trapper Schoepp Band and Afternoon Records labelmates-slash-Wilco dead-ringers the Wars of 1812. 18+.
Thu., Jan. 15, 8 p.m., 2009