Hurtling at the speed of thought, the Czars are making introspective proclamations these days. The title to their latest four-song EP, X Would Rather Listen to Y Than Suffer Through a C of Z's, sounds like the title to a Wallace Stevens poem about bank executives dozing on the job or a mathematical formula for lovelorn choromosomes. Upon further examination, it's clear that the recording has less to do with abstract theories than with sad-eyed, sumptuously layered musical arrangements. It's beautiful, dark balladry that melts before your ears with repetitive melodies and a dream life as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon. Frontman John William Grant's pipes deserve insurance from Lloyd's of London, even though he sings about decay in a way that practically encourages thumb-sucking. Anchored by guitarists Andy Monley and Roger Green, bassist Chris Pearson and drummer Jeff Linsenmaier, this local collective conjures an otherworldly atmosphere that has launched its swoony lounge sound beyond Denver and onto the world's stage. Slated as openers for the Flaming Lips' upcoming tour through Spain in January (plus one night in London that should excite the folks at Mojo, who gave the band an honorable mention recently), the Czars bring their distinct brand of black math and universal consonants to the hometown crowd Friday, December 6, at the Bluebird Theater with Foma. (The show will be streamed online via the Digital Club Network at www.dcn.com.) Attendence should almost be mandatory.
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