Best Avant-Something-or-Other Act 

Noise can be a weapon of mass destruction in the wrong person's hands. Not quite avant-garde, not quite experimental, the noise-rock trio UNTIED STATES fill space as efficiently as any act on the local scene. Bells, bent strings, feverishly beaten drums, distressed vocals and synthesizer wails crash and bang before flourishing into hook-based punk melodies. Originally a collaboration between childhood friends Skip Engelbrecht and Colin Arnstein, the band's state was a little too untied until beatkeeper Jim Earley arrived. Not only does the music drop jaws, but the band gives away copies of its self-released debut, Bird of the Blood Feather. How's that for anti-establishment?

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