Have you ever stopped nodding along to a drum beat only to realize that you have no memory of consciously deciding to start? It takes perfection in multiple facets — tempo, timbre, melody, etc. — in order to actively hypnotize your audience, especially if they are unwitting test subjects. I’m fairly certain you can get paid for agreeing to take part in a similar psychological study somewhere, but that shouldn’t stop you from paying a cover to see the indie outfit Birds and Batteries.
The Bay Area group’s sound is characterized by virtual blankets of synth and pop production falling out of nowhere to smother the growing fire that so desperately wants to erupt out of lead songwriter Mike Sempert. B&B goes far beyond other, similar indie-electro outfits of the time — Starfucker et al. — in that the emphasis on fusion is strong, and it creates a potent mixture of years past and days present; like David Byrne fucking Passion Pit in the face until a new sonic hole, composed of cascading psychedelia and languid buildups, is ripped open.
In truth, this is the music that’s going to confuse your body and your mind. You’ll be in that daze — nodding aimlessly at the stars flying through your inner circuitry — when a fluid-yet-oddly-abrupt change in pace’ll hit like a kick in the teeth and you’ll be dancing, and you’ll be sweating, and you’ll be content closing out the rest of your life on a couch with soothing beats and flustered synthesizers reminding you that there’s value to lethargy, and there’s no point in sloth if we can’t be conscious of what put us there.
In this case, it’s Birds and Batteries.
Birds and Batteries play 10 pm Thursday, May 24, at Luckey’s; $5.