[STONE-AGE ROCK] Don't let the name fool you: Portland quartet Mongoloid Village delivers a stunningly mature and well-played set of heavy rock tunes on its new eponymous EP. The sound instantly recalls a lot of great "Pigfuck" music from the '90s, particularly Chicago heavyweights Jesus Lizard, but MV fills out its sound with doses of epic stoner metal (frontman "Fester" has a vocal styling reminiscent of Monster Magnet's Dave Wyndorf). In bridging the gap between these disparate universes of metal and noise rock, Mongoloid Village has stumbled into territory it can call its own, exercising enough craft and care to fully develop the new sound into the five worthy songs that compose the EP.

The disc gets straight to the point with a blazing riff most blockheads would hammer out in standard 4/4 time. Instead, MV tends to count in 7's ("El Ron") and 9's ("Shittown, U.S.A."), exposing a healthy Rush influence that keeps the material inventive, but never forsakes the worth of some good head-banging. Aside from an impressive degree of tone snobbery (every instrument sounds immaculate, even the tasteful synth overdubs), MV's strong suit is its ability to change time signatures and tempos in a way that is full of dynamics and tension, but never distracts. These Mongoloids should be watched closely and listened to repeatedly.


Mongoloid Village plays Ash Street Saloon Friday, Feb. 27, with Sprinkles!, Black Budget and Rubella Graves. 9:30 pm. $5. 21+.