The members of the Caribbean — three middle-aged area residents, each with tidily groomed facial hair — appear to be bookish types. So it was unsurprising when singer-guitarist Michael Kentoff introduced “Mr. Let’s Find Out’’ to Tuesday night’s Velvet Lounge audience as “the second song you’re going to hear tonight that’s based on a New Yorker article.’’ But one aspect of the show was a little unexpected: the wordy trio’s willingness to let the guitars do much of the talking.
None of the sounds the Caribbean made during the 50-minute set were actually unprecedented. The sort of whooshes, drones and whines produced by Kentoff and fellow guitarist David Jones — and their impressive array of effects pedals — are all heard on the group’s latest album, “Discontinued Perfume.’’ But that recording generally submerges its spacey noises and samples under acoustic guitars and warm, airy vocals that sometimes resemble those of Scritti Politti’s Green Gartside. In performance, the musicians went (a little) wilder. There were passages — brief ones, to be sure — that could be described as rave-ups, and the closing “That Anxious Age’’ meandered into aural abstraction over a trip-hop shuffle. The noise was invigorating, in a buttoned-down sort of way.