The Pharmacy, recent New Orleans transplants from Seattle, sounds like a synthy Guided By Voices after a gallon of coffee and a summer nursing a dangerous harpsichord fetish - a throwback to the indie-rock of yore, where smiles abounded and jammy freak-outs were pogo-ready affairs.
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Rising out of the ashes of The Terror-Dactyls in 2002, The Pharmacy have kept its two-man nucleus somehow intact along the way. The group supported Juno freak-folker Kimya Dawson on her 2005 tour, helping solidify its burgeoning power-pop reputation and quickly winning over Seattle's local music press.
Founders Scott Yoder and Brendhan Bowers manage to weld together the busy melodies of Electric Light Orchestra while still maintaining a healthy ragtag sound, especially on the swoon of "Little Toys on Shelf." Last year's Choose Yr. Own Adventure was a veritable buffet of hook-after-hook-laden power-pop, with a cello thrown in the mix for good measure.
Now with bassist Ryan Thompson in tow, the Pharmacy is touring the country road-testing songs for a possible summer release. - Craig Hlavaty
With the Raggedy Anns, Magnolia Sons, Guitars and Teenage Kicks, 8 p.m. tonight at the Backroom at the Mink, 3718 Main, 713-522-9985 or www.minkonmain.com.