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Spiraling, with Ice-9 and James Catholic

Tuesday, February 4

Once known as You Were Spiraling, this Jersey quartet is driven by keyboard whiz Tom Brislin. Other feathers in Brislin's cap include touring with Yes and Meat Loaf's band on VH1's Storytellers jaunt. Luckily, Spiraling is not as bombastic as either of those two quasi-operatic guilty pleasures. While the band's latest album, Transmitter, is at times tinged with Yes's Moog-fueled melodrama, Brislin's smart late-'70s-style power pop is much more grounded. Instead of unaccountably popular art rock, Transmitter calls to mind punchier musicians who should have been more famous: XTC, Squeeze, Split Enz and Look Sharp-era Joe Jackson. Spiraling's textured songs are hummable, their pulsating musicianship is excellent, and Brislin's biting lyrics are clever. The whole package will make you feel like one of the cool kids, circa 1979. So if you were either too young or too busy dorking out to stuff like Christopher Cross and Foreigner to appreciate this stuff, you have a second chance. Locals James Catholic and Ice-9 open.

 
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