Flying above

Download <i>Plan B</i> for free at <a href="http://ww.myspace.com/alotlikebirds">ww.myspace.com/alotlikebirds</a>.

Download Plan B for free at ww.myspace.com/alotlikebirds.

Club Retro

1529 Eureka Rd.
Roseville, CA 95661

(916) 988-6606

Screamo music sounds nothing like the sweet song of birds, yet somehow local seven-piece post-hardcore act A Lot Like Birds’ Plan B album channels the beauty of, say, a nightingale’s dark harmony. “(1.20.8.5.14.1)” is a lovely, violin-inspired instrumental with a stomp-clap backbeat and intermittent pizzicato—a beautiful interlude. Even the run-of-the-mill screamo anthem “Sesame Street Is No Place for Romance” mixes it up: saxophone embellishments during the bridge, electronic-programming flourishes. These two tracks are prime examples of A Lot Like Birds’ musical consciousness, especially considering that one of my biggest criticisms of screamo and post-hardcore music is its lack of dynamics. Birds break the mold, flies above. Of course, songs like “When the Wolf Is Counting Sheep” reveals Birds’ more derivative side. But the intro to the instrumental “How I Parted the Red Sea” reaffirms Plan B’s best assets: ripping guitars, staccato start-stop arrangements, post-prog drum precision, even Yes-like keys. And hell, there’s a dueling solo at the end, which soars. Nest in and enjoy. Catch A Lot Like Birds on Friday, February 26, 7 p.m.; $8. Club Retro, 6521 Hazel Avenue in Orangevale.