Polvo was always its own worst enemy, seemingly intent on maintaining a lower profile than the band deserved. Dauntlessly experimental in a genre defined by experimental sounds, Polvo sometimes seemed to go out of its way to alienate a broad spectrum of music listeners, even those whose ears were already attenuated to the off kilter indie aesthetic of the early '90s. The band took math rock as its jumping off point, using twisting guitar passages and start/stop, schizophrenic rhythms as a framework within which they could explore sounds of every variety. One of the band's early hallmarks, and one still felt today, was a fascination with non-western sounds and structures, incorporating both Eastern instrumentation and elongated passages of trance-inducing drone grooves into their arty guitar rock. Never formulaic, the band has also stretched into space rock freakouts, folk ballads, ambient soundscapes, scathing blues, and blistering punk across their scant handful of studio releases. Reunited in 2008 after a decade long hiatus, the band is in as good a form as ever, handing down sonic experimentation with the zeal of a mad scientist. NICHOLAS HALL

Tue., Oct. 6, 8 p.m., 2009

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