The solo project of former Troubled Hubble frontman Chris Otepka, The Heligoats bests its folk-rock contemporaries with a seamless combination of mellow, hauntingly moody tracks and bombastic, thumping acoustic tunes. The band’s newest album, “Goodness Gracious,” isn’t a huge step forward for the “folk on steroids” movement, but the songwriting is sharp, never stale and Otepka and his pals seem apt at pushing the mix to its limits, making their best tracks swell and envelop with each extra decibel. The most successful example is “Goodness Gracious” single “Fish Sticks,” one of the more delightful musical jaunts of the year, a danceable (in a Neutral Milk Hotel kind of way) up-tempo track with indiscernible, demonic voices haunting its bridge—a peculiar but effective change-up from some boring old guitar solo. (Andy Seifert)
May 13 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, (773)525-2501, at 9pm. $14.