After 2002’s morbidly hopeless “Control,” fans of the enigmatic rock band Pedro the Lion were set up for yet another melancholy concept album from David Bazan.
But Bazan’s latest offering, “Achilles Heel,” hit like a sucker punch in the nose.
Released in late May, “Achilles Heel” abandons Bazan’s expected novelistic approach to album making and settles on a comparatively dissonant collection of vignettes.
There are existing themes from Bazan’s previous work that carry over – spiritual reflection and his continued struggle to walk with God, telling detail.
Musically, “Heel” is a welcome return to the basics; nothing flashy, just straight up, honest coffee rock that connects with fans of the West Side band.
On the current tour of the western United States, Bazan isn’t playing much of the old stuff, instead focusing on his latest batch of goodies. A new EP for sale at his shows features new live in-studio recordings of “Trans- continental,” “I Am Always the One Who Calls” and “Slow and Steady Wins the Race,” plus three cover songs: “Political Science” (Randy Newman), “Metal Heart” (Cat Power), and “Let Down” (Radiohead). It’s available at www.pedrothelion.com.
Also, be on the lookout for a Pedro the Lion DVD of live performances.
Pedro the Lion, essentially Bazan, rocks Saturday at 7 p.m. at Club Soda, 715 E. Sprague. Omaha, Nebraska’s Tilly and the Wall (which relies on a tap dancer for percussion) and mangled pop-rockers Western States open the show. Tickets for the all-ages show are $10, through TicketsWest (325-SEAT, 800-325-SEAT, www.ticketswest.com), or $12 at the door.
• Linsday Diaries, Long Since Forgotten, and Josh Albright play an all-ages show on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Shop, 924 S. Perry. There is a $5 cover.
• Load up on an all-ages rock feast with national touring acts Caliban, Scars of Tomorrow (Victory Records), Nodes Of Ranvier, Reflux, and local death-metalheads After Eyes Are Gone on Thursday at the Detour, 175 S. Monroe. Tickets are $7, through TicketsWest, 4,000 Holes, and the Long Ear in Coeur d’Alene.
• Wax deejay Grand Groove sets up today at 8 p.m. in the alley at Mizuna Restaurant, 214 N. Howard.
• The Pop Star USA talent contest finals are tonight at 7:30 p.m. at CenterStage, 1017 W. First.