Music

And the crowd clapped accordingly, particularly for songs from Pedro's previous full-length It's Hard to Find a Friend. Newer, unrecognized numbers were met with the attentive silence of a loyal crowd, some no doubt taken with Bazan's faith in Christ—a topic caught in the broad sweep of his sung storytelling. Manifest in passionate description, not grave instruction, the moral undercurrents gave the songs their drama.

Bazan's vocals were alternately couched in diffuse bass and soft drum taps or driven by frenetic kit pounding and his cutting, minimalist guitar leads. The really rockin' songs were most riveting, especially "A Mind of Her Own," in which Bazan plays husband to an alienated wife he thinks is "going to squeal" (about what, we don't know). "Don't you walk away from me. . . . You're not calling anyone," he railed, ratcheting his voice up with each impotent word until it was sublimated into a clattering one-chord guitar climax. The sheer effort that Bazan seemed to exert drawing his syrupy voice from deep within his chest limned a narrative all its own, the personal struggle his lyrics merely imply. —Nick Catucci

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