Over the past few years, the St. Louis region has developed a fairly strong post-punk scene, and one of the scene's shining lights is the East Side five-piece known as Asia Minor. Asia Minor has gone through a handful of lineup changes in its brief existence but truly came into its own a year or so ago with the addition of former Back of Dave/Five Deadly Venoms/Keyop singer Dan Campbell, whose trademark bellow and strong stage presence elevated the band to contender status. Despite Campbell's bark, Asia Minor veers toward the prettier end of what passes for punk rock these days, with the chiming guitars of Tom Sweet and Dave Todd weaving around each other while drummer Drew Carr and bassist Bruce Klostermann execute jazzy math-rock changes with subtle ease. Even Campbell's inspired to trade in his howl on a few songs, crooning sweetly à la Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba.
Asia Minor plays twice this weekend to celebrate the release of its debut CD, a nine-track self-titled affair on Belleville, Illinois-based Anomer Records. Ably recorded in Chicago by Mike Lust, the disc should help the band break out regionally. Joining Asia Minor for a hometown show at Belleville's Three-1-Three on Friday are power-math riffers Riddle of Steel; Saturday's Rocket Bar show pairs Asia Minor with Indiana emo quartet Step Softly, Ghost, which also features an ex-Back of Daver in drummer Matt Eberlin.