Banditos has a gritty, restless sound that's often hard to pin down. The six-piece outfit, formed in Birmingham, Ala., and now based in Nashville, blends a hearty batch of roots-based influences into a genre-blurring style of primal, Southern-flavored boogie rock. Songs taking shape from raw hill-country blues, scrappy bluegrass and Muscle Shoals R&B are delivered with raucous bar-band intensity; frenetic guitar outbursts knock into jangly banjo rolls and stomping traditional rhythms.
The shaggy crew's summer-released sophomore record, "Visionland," has plenty of hard-hitting moments. Opener "Fine Fine Day" charges forward with a mix of proto-punk edge and alt-country swagger, while "DDT" is a ragged, roadhouse fist-pumper with a soaring gospel chorus. Fortunately, the loose-limbed sextet also balances its righteous racket with more soulful grooves.
The title track indulges in meandering psychedelic folk, and "Lonely Boy" is a sincere, road-weary lament with a vintage pop hook. With chops initially honed in a church choir, Mary Beth Richardson has a versatile range that's one of the band's best assets. She takes sultry lead during the trippy, Jefferson Airplane-inspired blues journey "Strange Heart" and provides brightening backup vocals in the shuffling honky tonk of "Thick N' Thin." With no shame in being rough around the edges, Banditos is a rising, well-rounded Americana force.
Show: With Ezra Mae and the Gypsy Moon on Friday at 7 p.m. at DC9. 202-483-5000. dcnine.com. $12.