[SUBURBAN ART-PUNK] Take it from someone who grew up nearby: Nothing cool has ever come out of Agoura Hills, Calif. Sure, the wealthy L.A. suburb has produced its share of nationally recognizable acts, but those acts include Linkin Park and Hoobastank, which just proves my point. So the fact that a group as peculiarly ragged as Dub Thompson emerged from its gated maw is a bit bewildering. Or maybe it's not: The music of the not-yet-21-year-old duo of Matt Pulos and Evan Laffer carries the chip-on-shoulder sneer and try-anything desperation of bored teenagers itching to escape the dullness of their hometown. 9 Songs, the duo's debut, has roots in the art-rock fuckery of Pere Ubu and the Fall, but that hardly helps describe what's going on with these eight songs. (Yeah, the title is a bit misleading.) Opener "Hayward!" is a garbled blast of scratchy, lo-fi post-punk, which eventually spirals into the psychedelic basement-rocksteady of "No Time." Standout "Dograces" grooves with a martial punk-funk stomp before exploding suddenly into a starburst of gloriously cheeseball keyboards, while the noisy closer "Pterodactyls" has a chugging insistence midway between krautrock and hardcore. The production, from fellow Agoura Hills escapee Jonathan Rado of Foxygen, is smeared and overdriven, and the arrangements often shift at jarring angles. But those alienating effects are offset by the contagious energy of two kids throwing every trick they know at the proverbial wall. Congrats, guys: Hopefully, the next time you're forced back home, it'll be to open the Canyon Club for REO Speedwagon.
SEE IT: Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., 328-2865. 9:30 pm Sunday, July 27. $8. 21+.