Music » Critics' Picks

Ad Astra Per Aspera

8:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 6. The Bluebird, 2706 Olive Street



The gyrating, experimental art-core created by Lawrence, Kansas, indie rockers Ad Astra Per Aspera is reminiscent of the boundary-pushing noise rock of Sonic Youth and the post-hardcore dissonance of Fugazi. Yet it's difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes this quintet click — mostly because its music is constantly morphing and genre-jumping, as it combines hints of dance-punk and post-rock with mathy, contorted noise sections and vocals that jump from whimsical to high-pitched screaming. The recent seven-inch "Danger Bird Blues" commences with a burst of screeching feedback and a 40-second intro packed with an atonal circus of interwoven guitar and piano lines; its slithering bass line sounds like Motown played backward before maniacal screams take over and lead to a berserk and frantic crescendo of noisy madness.

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