Bear in Heaven / Doldrums / Blouse

If you started streaming Bear in Heaven's I Love You, It's Cool last December, you should be about finished now. The band's decision to digitally slow down its third album 400,000 percent into a blurry smear was a neat bit of aural sabotage now juxtaposed by the sprawling synth waves and icy pinnacles revealed by its physical release. Cool isn't a radical departure from its predecessor, Beast Rest Forth Mouth, which established BIH as an electronic-pop, dance-inducing force. It's on a similarly grand scale, oozing billowy, multi-layered synth clouds that pulse expectantly among peppery hooks; all are culled from decades stretching back to the new wave and prog rock eras. Jon Philpot's angst-ridden, sighing vocals sound echoey and detached, while Joe Stickney's thunderous, frenetic percussion provides an invaluable dose of earthy reality. Doldrums is Montreal-based Airick Woodhead, whose recent debut EP Empire Sound is a cacophonous, collage-like assemblage of woozy, industrial electronica with a post-punk percussive charge and slippery remnants of fractured pop. The Portland trio Blouse play dreamy synth-pop laden with icicles of irony while female singer Charlie Hilton bleeds insouciance. 18+.
Tue., April 17, 8 p.m., 2012

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