Despite being another one of these groups with an awkwardly-stumbles-off-the-tongue band name (note to prospective musicians: keep it to five syllables), Canadian trio The Rural Alberta Advantage does a pretty bang-up job of blending folksy melancholia and urban synths—no simple task. The trio’s Saddle Creek debut, “Hometowns,” is a love letter to small-town Canadian living, one that lovingly focuses on the region’s foibles (mostly boiling down to “I’m freezing my ass off”) and historical tragedies (“Frank, AB” recalls the 1903 landslide that killed seventy people, which is bit of a downer). A particularly loud bass drum—not unlike The Dodos’ signature percussive sound—anchors every song, rumbling and pounding and effectively turning what ought to be labeled “folk” into undeniable rock. Lead singer Nils Edenloff’s nasally intones fall somewhere in between David Gray and Jeff Mangum (the first and last time those two musicians will ever be compared to one another), but he particularly works on the band’s raucous moments, when melodies seamlessly shift from wailing and boundless to tight and catchy. (Andy Seifert)
September 26 at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, (773)525-2508, at 10pm. $12.