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April 30, 2003

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Ester Drang

A gauzy, daydream atmosphere surrounds Infinite Keys, the second album by Oklahoma's little-known Ester Drang. When taking in the shuddering buildups and cloudy softness of the opening "The Temple Mount," it's hard to believe that the band's first album was reportedly a lot vaguer and sleepier. Throughout Keys, instruments grandly blend together, suddenly swell in and out of focus, and reappear like specters, making it all the more difficult to get a handle on exactly what's happening. Bryce Chambers' morose, moody singing recalls Thom Yorke, but his voice often functions as just another sound in the soupy mix, buried in blurry effects nearly past the point of recognition. This is a band to simply sink into, which is what must've happened to the folks at Jade Tree, who signed Ester Drang after hearing nothing more than a mere demo. That tidbit alone should speak volumes about Keys' weird allure. (D.W.)

7:30pm. $8. With Pedro the Lion + the Stratford 4. All ages. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 800.594.8499.

Philadelphia Weekly

Doug Wallen