Last year was a good one for Brooklyn’s indie-metal scene. Working out of crusty meccas such as Greenpoint’s Saint Vitus and Bushwick’s the Acheron, emerging groups like Psalm Zero and Couch Slut, as well as returning luminaries like Liturgy, plied obsessive complexity, primitive riffage and daring stylistic blends. Working alongside these bands, yet exploring another stratum of sound, is Kayo Dot, the metal-inspired but ultimately unclassifiable brainchild of bassist-vocalist Toby Driver (pictured, second from left).
Driver’s a local staple with big-league avant-garde cred: During the past decade, he’s recorded for both John Zorn’s Tzadik imprint and the now-defunct extreme-music tastemaker Hydra Head. Following his mid-to-late-’90s days with Boston neoproggers Maudlin of the Well, Driver founded Kayo Dot, a revolving-door project for which he serves as primary auteur. After 2013’s sprawling, diabolically intense Hubardo, Driver steered the group toward its most streamlined incarnation yet, as heard on 2014’s sublimely constructed, surprisingly popcentric Coffins on Io.
Oozing with self-described “’80s retrofuture noir vibes,” the synth-heavy Coffins offers a hypnotic blend of sensuous grooves, ghostly heaviness and knotty melodies that would sound equally at home at either a dingy metal dive or a black-lipstick–smeared goth party. And David Lynch should look no further than the 10-minute “Offramp Cycle, Pattern 22”—guided by Driver’s Bowie-esque croon and melodic bass thumps—for a moodily ambient epic to soundtrack his Twin Peaks revival. Succumb to Driver & Co.’s spell on Wednesday 25, as the band hits the LES to show off its sax-peppered, strangely seductive magic.—Brad Cohan