Bristling punk energy and sweeping musical grandeur usually don't fit together, although one of the bands that established the CBGB's scene certainly managed to do it. Since Television, few other groups have achieved anything similar, although one name comes to mind: Built to Spill, whose rough-hewn but epic style has surely influenced UrboSleeks.
The principal difference between Idaho's Built to Spill and Louisiana's UrboSleeks is that the latter has two percussionists. Don't expect any New Orleans-style second-line rhythms from UrboSleeks' "Near the Water," however. While passages like the opening of "Rio Grande" showcase the quintet's Feelies-like polyrhythms, the music is dominated by the guitars and voices of two Jasons -- Robira, who writes most of the lyrics, and Trahan. Both the guitar and vocal tones are trebly and striving, as if battling to fully express the emotions of songs like "Let's Paint History" and "Sleep on What I Say." The small-studio sound, which is a bit hollow, sometimes seem inadequate, but then this is a group that is most compelling when fighting to be heard.
Appearing Friday at the Velvet Lounge with Stinking Lizaveta, Grand National, and Signs Point to Yes. To hear a free Sound Bite from UrboSleeks, call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8113. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)