Einstürzende Neubauten, electro, the Jesus and Mary Chain, minimal techno, Suicide, Iannis Xenakis, and electric Miles — what a list, right? Not only is Through the Panama, Sightings' sixth album since 2002, a post-everything fusion of all these jammers, it's a new form of modern rock. Thirty years from now, stoned heads will worship this static-soaked slab like some kind of White Light/White Heat for the age of melted polar ice caps.
That's serious hyperbole, no doubt about it. But it's been years since an underground rock band has dropped an album this heavy, noisy, experimental, and . . . catchy. For years, Sightings was considered the scuzz-rock stepchild of New York. But the group has now caught up with Liars and Animal Collective, transforming its extreme sounds into barbed hooks and power-drill dance grooves. While the three members breathe fire like a trio of '50s jazzbos, they use all that burned oxygen to illuminate a set of deeply gothic songs that include more pointed arches and vertical piers than Notre Dame. And if that's not enough, they even cover a Walker Brothers tune ("The Electrician"), which will have you howling "kill me and kill me and kill me" for the next six months.