Mono

w/Bellini, LKN

Tues Sept 20, Sunset, 9 pm, $8 adv/$10 DOS.

Although their music is wordless, Japan's Mono speak volumes. Or maybe that should read, "their music speaks with voluminous presence," as the weight of Mono's instrumental post rock could at times collapse ear canals, even though the members' mouths remain silent. Luckily, there's little violence involved, though, as the four-piece's musical mantra is equal parts elegant and elephantine, making room for moments of navel-gazing introspection between guitar riffs that tower like searchlights and mingle with strings.

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Mono's latest release, Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined (if you wondered where the lyrics went, the title says it all), was produced by Steve Albini. It's more of the same—the band wandering through foggy planes of sonic surrealism also traveled at times by Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Kinski, and Pelican (with whom they're releasing a split EP next month). Songs snap to attention with moments of high-pressure feedback blasting all traces of softness from slower progressions. As they build and break layers of instruments, effects cascade, conquer, and collapse around you or pool at your feet with somber, solitary melodies trickling off into the distance.

This is head music, the kind that sweeps open the doors of perception and carries you in a somnolent state from one song to the next. And in their blissed-out state, Mono keep the nightmares at bay, offering instead a more heavenly hypnotism.

jennifer@thestranger.com