Chico duo The Americas has quietly gone about forging a thrilling discography over the past 10-plus years. And the just-released Fok Chaw finds the band at its most innovative, imaginatively harnessing the chaos of drummer Casey Dietz (The Velvet Teen) as he plays off the controlled strains of guitarist/vocalist Travis Wuerthner’s arresting arpeggiated guitar loops. Fok Chaw might be the band’s boldest recorded statement yet. The best example of the duo’s virtuosity is “Huy Fong Is in the Neighborhood,” which blends the band’s magnetic poles of hypnotic repetition and hyper blasts of sound and heat, exploding the deceptive safety of the song’s form amid Weurthner’s expressive yowls and cascading distortion. The fantastic muted chording on Fugazi-like “Side Cab” leads into one of the more inspired tracks in “Dynobuddy,” with its raging, full-speed distorted angst and tangled guitar strings wrapped around a sweat-soaked heart. And “Anal Eyes” and “It’s Time” find the band reaching beyond its comfort zone, moving between quieter moods, effects pedals and acoustic guitars.
The Americas CD-release party: Saturday, June 10, 9:30 p.m., at Duffy’s Tavern.