Swell w/Heather Duby, Black Nite Crash

Fri Jan 16, Chop Suey, 9 pm, $7.

It's nice, and easy for all, when a band's name provides an apparent clue as to what its sound might be like. For San Francisco's Swell, the name's declaration that there could be billowing or amplifying involved is pretty damn descriptive of the band's eight albums (one of which, Bastards and Rarities, is a retrospective), each one propulsive and swollen with noisy psychedelia.

Singer and guitarist David Freel and drummer Sean Kirkpatrick have been there for the long haul since Swell was founded in 1989, but the lineup has also included guitarist John Dettman and bassist Monte Vallier. The band made a self-titled, self-released album in 1990 and followed it with Well? on Warner Bros. in 1992 before issuing the storming 41 in 1994. Brooding and enveloping, 41 mounts and then slopes with sonic tension, making Swell one of the unsung heroes of the soft-loud-soft movement. Yo La Tengo fans who haven't yet heard Swell should take note, as well as those who carry a soft spot for Grandaddy or My Morning Jacket. I haven't seem them play live in several years, but their showcase at SXSW in 1997 in support of Too Many Days Without Thinking was memorably unrepressed, and ripe to bursting in scope.

Last fall, Swell released the mounting and sloping Whenever You're Ready (Beggars Banquet), a perfectly titled album for a perfectly named band that has sat by patiently while newer bands with a similar sound have gotten all the attention. Get ready, already. Swell's been waiting.