The Big Sweet
While other teens use their first bands to work out girl troubles (plus maybe a dash of pre-voting-age political angst) with three-chord guitar bashing or emo-licious yelping, these 15-year-old boys from Canton and Cleveland jump right into their early-20s indie-rock stage for their sturdy, accomplished debut. The reference point here is Pavement, whose fractured, disjointed art-rock runs through Shot of Bliss' 10 songs. On "Dress Up Your Mind," singer-guitarist Sam Regas blows through his lines like Stephen Malkmus' bratty little brother. At times, the Big Sweet channel Wilco and other indie-rock signposts of the past 15 years, putting mood above all else. Only a mannered cover of Big Star's "September Gurls" sounds out of place. The Big Sweet save the best for last: Shot of Bliss' closer, "I'm Sold Out," builds over six minutes, eventually collapsing in a glorious heap of feedback and tangled noise. Just wait till these boys grow up. — Michael Gallucci
The Big Sweet open for Barrence Whitfield & the Monkey Hips at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 20, at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124, beachlandballroom.com). Tickets: $10.