It might be a bit kiss-assy to admit, but to my ears nearly everything Al Burian and Dave Laney touch turns to gold. After playing bass and guitar respectively for Milemarker for years, their 2004 debut with Challenger was an impressive compliment to the former band's heavy punk intensity. And now they're back with a new Milemarker release, Ominosity, which offers an unapologetic barrage of guitars, synthesizer, pots and pans, violins, and trumpets. The band (8 years old this year) have really outdone themselves for their fifth full-length. Not all credit goes to Burian and Laney, of course. Milemarker alumni Ben Davis and Noah Leger had something to do with it, as did a whole crew of familiar guests like Monika Bukowska and Tim Remis (who's also in Challenger). And it didn't hurt to have Steve Albini produce the thing either.

Lyrically, the eternally politically charged Milemarker take aim at the government, war, the impersonal digital age, and big corporations. Ominosity will make you dance just as quickly as it'll make you think, but most importantly, the record leaves an impression long after it's over. The songs burn themselves into memory with jarring guitars and enraged vocals that egg the listener to question everything and always think for themselves; if it takes a few catchy synth riffs and tight drum hits to get those points across, then so be it.

The record's star song is "Rivers of Blood," a fiery eight-minute antiwar track with an opening that explodes with the line "God damn, this bloodbath is boiling! And I think it's still warming up!" It follows with an unforgiving attack of guitars and drums that settles into a moody calm before crashing to a noisy conclusion. Another track, "Food Chain," is heavier on the synths and lighter on the chaos. But the party stays political with the lyrics "Life goes on after the damage is done/The death encoded in your chromosomes/in birth defect and cancer rates/skyrocket attacks from enemy states and the blood which circulates and devastates."

Ominosity is exhausting with its vertiginous energy, but it's worth every breathless moment. You can only imagine what the band will conjure up for their live show in order to do the record justice. Find out Tues Nov 22 at the Vera Project as the band takes the stage with the Mae-Shi, the Pope, Mon Frere, and Braille Tapes. The show starts at 7:30 pm and costs $9 ($8 with club card). MEGAN SELING