The Show: Wednesday, March 13, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The Quails and Hella at Rubber Gloves

By Matthew Smith

Despite the bandís tiny label digs, itís shocking that San Franciscoís Aislers Set hasnít gained more attention. Their debut and sophomore albums drew raves, a fate also likely to greet their just-released How I Learned to Write Backwards as well. Sleater-Kinney and Belle and Sebastian rank among the Aislersí small yet devoted following.

Yep, sad and too common to see worthy bands toil in obscurity. Doubly sad since leader Amy Linton and company craft arguably the most achingly beautiful pop this side of Pet Sounds and late-í60s Kinks. More amazing, the bandís records, all recorded in Lintonís garage, sound closer to post-pop Sgt. Pepperís than DIY affairs.

On record the Aislers Set, said to have a much harder edge live, glide from not quite-there cloudy dream fragments to pounding Phil Spectorian cascades to riffs so pure they break hearts. If that sounds sugary cute, think again: The Aislers Set make exquisite chamber music for mosh pits, not for lollipopping in the sunshine. A certain sweetness is present, but thinking of the Velvet Undergroundís ďWho Loves The Sun,Ē with its acidic bite disguised in bubblegum, gives a better idea of Aislers Setís truer face. Heck, Backwardís ďTrain #2,Ē all fuzzy disconnect, wouldnít sound out of place on Husker Duís Zen Arcade.

Which is not to suggest gloom parading as twee. Like all great music, the bandís songs neither candycoat reality nor deny the possibilities but work on multiple levels ó treacherous, loving, and, in the end, simply breathtaking all at once. This Denton stop marks a rare Texas appearance and a chance for you to discover one of popís best kept secrets.

10pm Mon with The Quails and Hella at Rubber Gloves, 411 E Sycamore, Denton. $7. 940-387-7781.


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