Like many veterans of the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, scene, the Comas (appearing at the Larimer with Joshua Novak and the Veils) are as averse to pigeonholing as most non-pigeons are. Indeed, Spells, the outfit's new disc for the Vagrant imprint, is a veritable variety pack of indie-rock stylings. For instance, the opener, "Red Microphones" is an up-tempo chugger that finds main songwriter Andy Herod reveling in the dippiness of lyrics such as "We thrust our swords to heaven!" while the more leisurely paced "Now I'm a Spider" is dominated by sweeping orchestration, expressionistic guitar and comparatively sinister harmonies courtesy of Herod and longtime cohort Nicole Gehweiler. The group sometimes leans too heavily on approaches that came to the fore circa the late '90s, when it was launched. At their best, though, Herod and Gehweiler, supplemented by Matt Sumrow, Jason Caperton and Nic Gonzales, are able to balance light and dark material in a manner that's divertingly capricious. Every time they seem in danger of predictability, the Comas snap out of it.
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