Music » Critics' Picks

Evangelicals

8 p.m. Tuesday, September 16. Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, 3301 Lemp Avenue.

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Not only are Norman, Oklahoma's Evangelicals shinier than most shimmering pop bands, but its frilly edges are rougher and sharper than your average quirky indie songsmith. Conceptually, the band shares Yo La Tengo's propensity for layering sheets of noise over driving rock beats and charming melodies. But its recent album, The Evening Descends, has plenty of ear candy that, when unwrapped and licked to its core, has a soft, chewy center of cleverly catchy hooks. If the band's arrangements were less dense (or more boring), its tunes could lead to a flirtation with the mainstream. Instead, the abrasive sounds which permeate Evangelicals songs are a reminder of the self-deprecating principles that put the "indie" in indie rock in the first place. Much like the screaming-in-tongues religious group from which the band takes its moniker, Evangelicals speak a language that doesn't speak to all — but is intensely beautiful to those who do.

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