Kindred spirits: Link Wray, Tone, Mars
Show: With Caribbean on Friday at
Comet Ping Pong. Show starts at 10 p.m. 202-364-0404. www.cometpingpong.com. $10.
Rock instrumentalists usually emphasize either the groove or the riff. And that’s just how two D.C. combos divide it: The Plums improvise gushing, smeary juggernauts, while Talk It constructs tidy, roughly circular pieces.
Designed for audio cassette, the Plums’ “Nixon’s Mess” is cleaved into two 16-minute slabs of guitar feedback, squealing electronics, free-form drumming and the occasional propulsive bass line. The band, which usually performs as a quartet, is clearly not trying to ingratiate itself; the tone is dark and the timbres abrasive. And yet the musicians’ pleasure in making a big noise is contagious. “Nixon’s Mess” is sonically forbidding, but that’s balanced by an engaging sense of play.