Alpha Bits

Pretty, stinging guitars, 1980s-style synthesizers, and a nice round bass back up boyish vocal harmonies that recall certain New Pornographers moments: This is Oakland's HIJK. Unexpected and expertly wielded non-rock instruments — a cello, maybe, or a trumpet — make glimmering appearances and give way to stop-start walls of psych-like guitar crunch. A light touch on the drums shows restraint, not hesitation, and ultimately gives the impression of a thin metal skeleton supporting the other instruments. Formerly known as Hijack the Disco, HIJK celebrates a new CD (and the band's first under its new handle), The Pen and the Letter. Fans of weirdo pop of all kinds, including art-, math-, indie-, and -punk, won't miss this one. The Invisible Cities, Show Me State, and DJ Ted Leibowitz open.

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