Panel of Experts
Tricky indie trio Bent Shapes is a metamorphosized version of Ben Potrykus’s Girlfriends, who were just last year still releasing intense ragers with a vengeance before changing directions without warning. On its second release so far, a fancy little flexi-disc single that flopped out of the sky last month, the band showcases a restrained bunch of quirky hooks and forlorn, winding melodies that somersault like old Dismemberment Plan confessionals.
A-side “Panel of Experts” makes for a chiming, glassy bedroom jam with nod-along guitar chunks and “shoo-la-la” backup vocals. “Bites and Scratches” ups the ante a bit with frantic strumming and slowly unfolding lush harmonies around a couple of damaged-goods love interests. It’s not too often that a line like “the things that would bleed us dry seem to multiply” can take shape as a genuine pickup line. This time, it just might work. (The band promises a full-length in the near future, too . . .)