Having more in common with Buzz Ozbourne than Buzz Aldrin, the New Ancient Astronauts boldly go where free jazz bares its fangs. Working from the bedrock of brooding hardcore, these adventurous space sailors -- sax skronker Aaron Schilling, guitarist Kasey Elkington, bassist Don White and drummer Anthony Bell -- don't operate in any one musical idiom's framework. Sprinkling generous amounts of surf, big band, bop, metal, found sounds and cinematic flourishes into the mix, the foursome (ex-members of Superbuick, Ben Hogan and Agents of Chaos) drops one hellacious sonic payload, baby -- like Slim Pickens riding an H-bomb into oblivion. Probing the electric meat of John Zorn's "autonomous musical mind," the 'nauts likewise recall the space travel of Critters Buggin or Helios Creed, triggering sensations as unexpected as the bite of a jalapeño smoothie. The band's 2002 self-released EP -- once described as the "first-ever concept demo" -- was helmed by Black Lamb's Ben Ryan and laid the groundwork for an upcoming full-length, tentatively titled Children of the Vortex. As challenging as they are accessible, the Ancient ones take flight with Food Stamp signees the Cushion Theory and Elastic Recording artist Diesto on Thursday, October 23, at the 15th Street Tavern. Somewhere in a baby-blue cardigan, Lance Bass is weeping.