Negotiations, the long-awaited fourth album from Portland duo the Helio Sequence, is a slinky and shadowy record, ultimately more interested in hypnotizing its audience than in rocking their socks off. While vocalist/guitarist Brandon Summers and drummer/keyboardist Benjamin Weikel can crank out earworm-worthy hooks and soaring choruses when they feel like it — "October" ranks as one of 2012's catchiest — they prefer to spend the majority of Negotiations exploring more meditative and somber sonic terrain. While the shift toward subtle dreaminess makes for a record less instantly ingratiating than its excellent 2008 predecessor, Keep Your Eyes Ahead, Negotiations is ultimately a more richly rewarding record over the long haul. With Ramona Falls.
Thu., Nov. 8, 8 p.m., 2012