The Kants

Even if you find indie rock boring and annoying, the genre is more than palatable in the hands of locals the Kants. These rock philosophers play a ringing, melodic brand of the stuff that would fit nicely on Washington, D.C.'s Dischord label or with '90s-era Touch & Go bands like Girls Against Boys. After releasing a CD-EP last year and a split seven-inch with Handriver this past May, this time around the Kants deliver a one-sided, six-song 12-inch EP on red vinyl, and this dark, hypnotic and sometimes scary set is well worth the trouble of digging the turntable out of the attic. What you'll find in the demon-colored grooves is a devilish blueprint for a plot to take over the indie rock underworld. The title track has a sludgy ambience and a slight industrial tinge -- all told, the experience is like being stuck in downtown gridlock, surrounded by canyons of concrete and steel and bathed in the miasma of a Stinkadena chemical wind. A cleaner sound makes "Plan for Takers" the most accessible cut, while "Modern Ways to Health," with its urgent, sirenlike guitar and Ted Conway's sonorous vocals ("What you got is something / what you got is nothing / what you got is me") mixed just up high enough to be discernible also sticks out on this fillerless slab o' wax.

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Timothy J. O'Brien