Buzzed-over British newcomers Alt-J manage to overcome their truly horrific band name by dint of sheer melodic excellence on their just-released debut, An Awesome Wave. An art-rock album whose slinky rhythms and serrated edges recall fellow countrymen like Wild Beasts and, dare I say it, Radiohead, An Awesome Wave confidently bobs and weaves between woozy machine-manipulated balladry ("Tesselate"), sweetly chiming folk rambles ("Matilda"), and aggressive bottom-heavy rock assaults ("Fitzpleasure"). The album was greeted with instant chart success in Europe, where it was released back in May, but it remains to be seen whether American listeners will embrace the boldly unconventional band as warmly. Frontman Joe Newman's mushily enunciated, keening warble is clearly a love-it-or-hate-it proposition, but listeners capable of appreciating all of Alt-J's eccentricities will only fall in love deeper with their distinctive sound upon repeated listening. With JBM. 18+, $12, 8 p.m., 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399.
Sat., Sept. 22, 8 p.m., 2012