After a dozen years apparently lost in a far galaxy, cosmic surfers Man or Astro-Man? have splashed down on Earth with a new, surprising, gritty album, Defcon 5...4...3...2...1. The band originally rocketed out of Auburn, Alabama, in the early '90s, picking up on the grand tradition of Dick Dale-inspired surf-rock guitar, but in the context of a cheesy, space-age, Devo-esque schtick they like to call science friction. Original Astro-nauts Birdstuff, Coco, and Star Crunch are back onboard after the hiatus, along with renowned producer Steve Albini, plus new guitarist Avona Nova. The Defcon sound has a new muscularity laced with darker rock aggression than the fizzier surf stuff still at its core. More vocals are interspersed with the instrumentals too, also adding a more ominous tone. But as the band counts down through Defcon , the penultimate track is suffused with twinkling electronics, and the finale blasts off into classic surf-rock mode. Opening will be the Jacuzzi Boys, a Miami trio whose sun-kissed variety of garage-surf pop is riddled with big, tasty hooks and a fresh quality reminiscent of rock 'n' roll's early days.
Thu., June 13, 8 p.m., 2013