Music » Critics' Picks

Matt & Kim/The Thermals

8 p.m. Thursday, June 23. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard.

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The insta-party jams of Matt & Kim aren't tough to break down. The duo's tunes are fun, shouty sing-alongs that hit the brain's pleasure center with all the bluntness of Pixy Stix to the tongue. (It doesn't hurt that the pair makes viral-ready videos — peep the naked-in-New-York "Lessons Learned" or the cartoon violence of "Cameras.") But band's sugar-rush approach hasn't kept them from expanding its sound. Kim's stomp-and-shout beats have begun incorporating more complex drum-machine patterns, and Matt continues to unearth more strands of vintage synth tones. A song like "Good For Great" (from last year's Sidewalks), with its clacky rhythm track and lush, brassy keys, has more in common with a 2002-era R&B jam than anything resembling indie rock. The Thermals will open the show with smart and emotive pop-punk flair.

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