POINT LINE PLANE Inspiring nerdish analogies.

Point Line Plane

CD Release Sat May 3, Ozone Phase 3, 5 pm

& Satyricon, 10 pm

The artwork on Point Line Plane's new CD belies the duo's roots in D&D, Philip K. Dick books, and general high-grade obsessive music nerdiness. Drawn by local art multitasker E*Rock, it depicts a giant skeleton made of crystals zapping evildoers with prismic bolts from its fingers. "Crystals are an ancient symbol of power and mystery," observes keyboardist/vocalist Joshua Blanchard. "The image came to E*Rock in one of his Manischevitz-fueled spirit quests." The artwork looks fantastic. It is also some serious Final Fantasy shit.

That's why, if this CD--a split release between Portland's Sincere Brutality and Seattle's Xeroid Records--were your first experience with Point Line Plane, you'd be quite surprised the music contained within is just so dark and sexy. Their music smarts with melodic tension between heavily electrified synths, anxious screaming vocals, and a surge of drums (hit hard by the Mercury's own Nathan Carson). Buzzing with the raw fire emitted from Blanchard's livid, disoriented vocals, they create the feeling you'd get if you were lost in a damp, humid underground labyrinth lit only via red flashing strobe light. Which is a nerdy analogy in itself (sorry), but it's like that: Disorienting, mysterious, possibly about to explode. (Or "implode," as Blanchard sings frantically on "Code/Decode.")

Blanchard says, "I want people to be entertained by our music, but also be somewhat violated. Like getting an ice cream cone shoved in your face. It tastes good because it's ice cream, but then again someone just shoved it in your face."

However, don't expect them to get freakishly aggressive on our assez. Carson notes, "Sure, we make as much noise as possible, but it's an energy we can harness. So I feel far more in common with a band like Deerhoof than anyone who's just wearing a wrestling mask and twisting knobs."

That's why the best way to experience Point Line Plane is still live, where they exude a kinetic chemistry that comes from knowing each other for years. Blanchard is quite the showman, jumping wildly among the audience. Blanchard explains, "I think we convey a more cuddly kind of aggression than a lot of 'punk' bands because no one would believe either of us could really kick anybody's ass."

Carson continues, "Hopefully, the audience gets excitement and catharsis from seeing us flop around like abused marionettes, while putting out enough sound to deafen an old folks home once and for all."