Like A Panther

Who?: Buffalo-based indie-rock/atmospheric-alternative quartet.

What?: A new full-length album, available both digitally and on delicious heavy-duty purple vinyl, is known as "Rockpile," and is said by the band, via its bio, to be "heavily influenced by the area's abandoned and dilapidated buildings ... dank, rusting concrete permeates both sides of this ... release." There is indeed something distinctly Buffalonian -- dark, but eerily hopeful and determinedly optimistic -- about the eight songs collected here.

Why?: The band members site the influence of artists like My Bloody Valentine, Radiohead and Animal Collective as being predominant in their aesthetic approach. They aren't just tossing around names to look cool, either. My favorite songs on this fine album are "Nothing's Out There" and "Behemoth," both of which suggest an expansive, far-reaching interpretation of the indie-rock ethos. This music breathes, is consistently adventurous and sounds like it has plenty of places to go.

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-- Jeff Miers