Indie rock often showcases a set of curiously contrasting textures. Kal Marks, a band from Boston, plays with lurching bass lines, plodding eighth notes and similarly stripped-down drum beats set against brittle guitars and vocals that sound strained and scraped. Those high-gain guitars sing and squeal on their own in shrill counterpoint.
The trio’s record “Universal Care,” came out in February. I could be wrong, but it seems very 2018 that the band would have a name that sounds like a play on the author of “Das Kapital” and the album title would be a reference to the health-insurance debate.
Kal Marks mixes psychedelic swirls and shoegaze-y washes into what is grunge-leaning post-punk that punches and stabs in unexpected directions. Fans of Jesus Lizard will appreciate the sense of raving menace in some of these songs. The spirit of Nirvana hovers nearby, too.
But just when you think you’ve braced yourself for the sonic lashing, Kal Marks will roll out an almost folksy mini palette-cleansing song like “Ode.” Don’t expect a lot of guitar solos.
Kal Marks plays MAC650 Gallery, 650 Main St., Middletown, on Friday, May 25 at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $8.37. mac650.com