Boston's Darkworld Industries plays art rock as fancifully contrived as its somewhat ominous name. At the same time, the band's performance at the 9:30 club Saturday night proved it has more than its share of invigorating musical notions and the talent to execute them. While sorely lacking any economy within the extended song structures, the band nonetheless arranged complex layers of drums and percussion, glistening synthesizer and guitar parts and vocal chants into some compelling, if occasionally overwrought, musical passages.
Not surprisingly, it took the wary audience a while to figure out just how and where to get a hold on the band's dense and foreboding constructions. But when Darkworld Industries kicked into an uncharacteristically simple and noisy punk rave-up called "What R Frenz Four?" feet hit the dance floor as the band's art took on a refreshingly physical dimension.
Opening was Prisoners of Beat, a five-piece band fronted by two women synthesizer players. In the wake of the Go-Go's, they have come--perky, shimmying pop outfits trading in on the novelty of women rocking. This one had a fair share of solid, if not memorable, pop tunes, but almost no personality or rock 'n' roll verve. As for the two synthesizers, they hardly bleeped all night, serving more as fashionable stage props than as musical instruments.