Baroness, Earthless

There's been some grumbling in the hesher ranks about this supposed "hipster metal" phenomenon, which as far as I can tell basically means "false metal that indie rock sites occasionally like to express approval of". But if anyone tries to convince you that Baroness (pictured) are faking it, that they wink and nudge your elbow with every solo or only appeal to skinny-jeans poseurs, feel free to smack that person upside the skull with a cinderblock -- or, if you're concerned with being brought up on assault charges, just do the next closest thing and play them Blue Record (Relapse). A marvel of intricate technical prowess and raw power that threads through vintage prog, classic thrash and bong-resin hard rock, Baroness' followup to 2007's excellent Red Album is accessible to early initiates but still rewards high-volume listening with pin-you-to-the-wall force. And if there are any lightweight Sufjan-fan rubberneckers in the audience, leave it to Earthless to winnow them out: the peerless San Diego psych-metal powerhouse is one of those bands that lives to justify the 20-plus-minute free-for-all heavy rock freakout, with 2008's definitive concert document Live at Roadburn and its expansive, stoner-friendly jamming a good blueprint for what to expect. With U.S. Christmas. 18+
Fri., Nov. 27, 9 p.m., 2009

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