Chicago's Avantist headlines the latest installment of the Bangers & Mash series. Info
Chicago band Avantist, playing here as part of the multi-genre Bangers & Mash dance night, create something incredibly tight and nimble from a musical worldview that reaches across several gulfs at once. Comprised of four brothers, Avantist draws on shattering post-hardcore, psych-rock, prog, Mexican folk musics, and vividly recontextualized strands of pop and R&B. The aims are lofty, yet the results, on 2018's self-titled album and Terasoma EP, also connect on an immediate gut level, as if the band is making all these influences fuse together through sheer heroic force of will. Terasoma's "Violence" works as both a whiplash math-rock track and a mightily yearning pop song. Fernando Arias' bilingual vocals plunge straight into all the incongruity this mix of influences creates on paper, never getting hung up on the difference between furious screams and supple melodies.
Guitarist David Arias, drummer Luis Arias, and bassist Erick Arias are every bit as fluid. "Tidalwave," from the band's LP, puts a powerful forward-looking spin on surf-rock, while "Veneno" cuts pretty close to straightforward hardcore. On another highlight from the LP, "Human Driver," Avantist creates a writhing knot of barbed guitar lines and explosive drums, pulling back at points to make room for The Mars Volta's Adrián Terrazas-González to contribute some cavernous sax lines. Madison-based MC Red The Bully, who told us recently that he's been at work on some new material, will also be performing here. The night's DJ is fellow Madisonian Quinley, who spins frequently at Nattspil and other venues, and can be expected to channel the mood of the room into a flexible mix of house and techno. —Scott Gordon