Ignore, if you’re able, the cover image of Battles’ second album, Gloss Drop: some sort of gleaming, visceral sculpture made of either intestines or chewed gum, drooping artfully under the burden of its own hideousness. A curious choice for the local, experimental-rock band—not because it’s unappealing, but because the group’s brand of prog/math is an inversely welcoming, accessible experience. Nuanced, funky, and frequently alarming, Gloss Drop is the kind of complicated instrumentalism that changes expectations without ever losing the listener—Battles are just that good. Songs “Rolls Bayce,” “Sweetie and Shag” (with Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead), and “Sundome” are just that good. That cover art . . . less so.

Wed., April 27, 9 p.m., 2011

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 13, 2011

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