Music » Critics' Picks

The Western Front

8 p.m. Saturday, July 5. Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, 3301 Lemp Avenue

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The Western Front makes sharp 90-degree turns in its song arrangements, jumping from genre to genre without warning, like the flipping of a light switch. "Joseph Campbell Recommendation" commences with a jangly electric guitar riff full of twangy bends alongside a feverishly strummed acoustic that's very reminiscent of Buffalo Tom. But the song's verse shifts unexpectedly into a sparse vocal passage, supported only by the pulse of a Casio-sounding drum machine pattern and lonely, reverberating acoustic guitar. Later, the song slides seamlessly into a short, banjo-driven bluegrass interlude that somehow leads to an accelerating, epic last chorus. But the band uses these meandering explorations as a vehicle to bring its songs safely home — rather than randomly sending them off on a runaway train to the middle of nowhere.

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