Live Music Round Up: Monday, May 18

Gojira, the Chariot, Car Bomb, Book Of Black Earth at El Corazon, 7 p.m., $20, all ages

A godsend for metalheads who are sick of listening to the same old tired shit about Satan and gore, this double-bill pairs two of the most inventive, intellectually stimulating metal acts working on the scene today. Opener Car Bomb (pictured), which was hand-picked by headliner Gojira, essentially puts into sound what its members do in their day jobs, namely: astronomy, quantum physics, computer programming, and graphic design. On its 2007 debut, Centralia, the Long Island Quartet draws from aspects of all those fields for a technically rigorous and chaotic -- yet strangely orderly, even graceful -- sound. In an era where bands like the Dillinger Escape Plan, Cephalic Carnage, Meshuggah, and Fantomas have raised the bar so much already, it's saying a lot that Car Bomb takes tech-metal to a new extreme. But it says even more that the band does so with unprecedented cohesion. At times, Car Bomb's relentless guitar crunch and bass-drum thunder sounds like a squad of helicopters crashing in succession -- as such a scene might unfold choreographed by a skilled action director. Which means that often the band's command of timing and nuance trumps its ability to cram your synapses with as much information as possible. Meanwhile, France's Gojira brings its own distinct brand of environmental concern to progressive death metal. Gojira certainly has physiological obsessions and a preoccupation with mortality, but on latest album The Way of All Flesh, the band gets metaphysical by presenting death as a doorway into the life force that runs through everything. SABY REYES-KULKARNI

The Purrs, Army Navy, My Favorite Girl at Neumos, 8 p.m., $5

Seattle-based quartet the Purrs got their big break a few years ago when KEXP caught wind of their psychedelic pop rock and placed it on heavy rotation. The boys have since embarked on several national tours and are currently in the studio completing the follow-up to 2007's The Chemistry That Keeps Us Together, a woozy Velvet Underground-inspired record heavy with delay loops and reverb. The Purrs meditate mostly on love and liquor, which are ideal focuses for a band whose frontman (Jima) often sounds like he's knocked back a few too many. It's that extra touch that makes these whiskey-drenched melodies all the more engaging. ERIKA HOBART

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