An indie-rock record in 2013 can be seen as both an exercise in nostalgia and downright cutting-edge. The 11 songs here from the Boston trio are steeped in the canonized tradition of their slightly skewed indie heroes, but they also sound like a “state of the scene.” “Behead Yrself Pt. 2” is a scampering burst of summery energy in the Vampire Weekend mold, with bright, careening guitar lines contrasting the more dour imagery and frenetic delivery of the vocals. (All three members, guitarist Ben Potrykus, drummer Andy Sadoway, and bassist Supriya Gunda take leads throughout, with the latter’s “What Do You Get??” being a pleasant tonal shift.) On “Brat Poison” they drop the prettier trappings for a skewering noise blast, and an equally blistering lyric. “I wanna take a ride in your retro shtick, but it’s form over content and moreover nonsense,” Potrykus sings. “Hex Maneuvers” finds the trio mining the rich vein of contemporary washed-out post-punk, but it’s “Panel of Experts” that is the most demonstrative of the style at work here: an ebullient pop song whose choruses are bracketed by the arch scare quotes of the verses. (Out Tuesday).
Bent Shapes perform Sunday at Great Scott.