All great rock albums are a delicate dance between chaos and control. Overly refined recordings with nary a hair out of place feel lifeless after repeated listens, while totally raw affairs wear thin even faster (undercooked charm can only get one so far). It's a tough balance to strike, but one Laarks have managed to pull off their first time out of the gate. An Exaltation of Laarks, the Twin Cities/Eau Claire-based quartet's debut, boasts both bracing immediacy (in the slightly strangled tenor of frontman Ian Jacoby and the barbed-wire tones of guitarist Kyle Flater) and well-mannered melodies (Jacoby's tasteful keyboard textures and Brian Moen's dynamic, precise drumming). The group's tight weaving of electronic and organic rock textures comes off, at times, like a street tough's take on the Postal Service, and it's easy to envision similarly massive success if the right breaks come their way.
Fri., Oct. 15, 9:30 p.m., 2010