Eighteen Individual Eyes

Maybe it's because Eighteen Individuals is an all-female band, but there's something unexpectedly soft about their brand of ambient prog rock. Even between the dark, droning guitars of "Rosebud Youth," Irene Barber's melodic, lovely vocals are front and center. That song is just one example of the Seattle four-piece's ability to dance delicately between darkness and light. There are some rollicking, bouncy guitars in the middle of "Treeform in Darkness" that would fit right in with doo-wop vocals¬óbut those chords are quickly replaced with fuzzed-out licks. This lightness is clearer on the band's EP, Slightly Frightened, Mostly Happy, where the instrumentals find perfect balance and allow Barber's voice clarity. But even then, there's a persistent toughness to EIE's steady drum and distorted guitars. These musicians will toy with traditional femininity, but they'd rather sound interesting than pretty. EIE will push the envelope before being pushed around. PAIGE RICHMOND

Mon., April 5, 8 p.m., 2010

 
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