Since Quasi’s start in the mid-nineties, the two-headed monster of Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss has continually grown more political and, honestly, weirder. In the beginning, Coomes’ ruthless piano and distorted-keyboard playing spearheaded the duo’s attack, a sound so signature and unique that it managed to keep the band apart from Pacific Northwest peers like Built to Spill and other Up Records artists. Over the years, Coomes has faded out the keys and moved towards a heavy guitar sound, influenced by blues-rock and presumably a rising level of angst. While the newer records may not boast the memorable tracks of “Field Studies” or best-output “Featuring ‘Birds,'” Coomes and Weiss (along with bassist Joanna Bolme, on board since 2006) still hold the power to floor. Quasi’s new record, “American Gong,” kicks off with rocker “Repulsion,” a bold and expressive opener that features an elongated pronunciation of the title that brings a gleeful smile, even though it’s slightly ridiculous. Live, Janet Weiss has been one of the more entertaining drummers in indie rock, from her work in Sleater-Kinney to this band to her current gig as drummer in Stephen Malkmus’ band. It’s nice to know Quasi is always there. (Tom Lynch)
May 1 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, (773)525-2501, at 10pm. $12-$14.