Music » Critics' Picks

Skeletons & the Kings of All Cities

8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 16. Shangri-La Diner (2201 Cherokee Street).

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Formerly known as Skeletons & the Girl-Faced Boys, Skeletons & the Kings of All Cities inject post-rock sensibilities into traditional pop songs. Matt Mehlan's sweet, ghostly voice floats lightly over assembled percussion and snakey guitar loops, which causes many songs to sound as delicate as a house of cards. But the true beauty in these compositions lies in hearing how they resist destruction. The just-released Lucas is a dream of a record, finding a balance between the organic and the digital, with heavy, wooden percussion coexisting with the whirs and bleeps of bent circuits. Elements of jazz emerge in the squeaky horn line of "Hay W'happns?" and an avant-garde string section appears in "Like It or Not." This is modestly experimental music that never strays too far from the melody and never abandons a hypnotic beat.

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