The New Paltz indie/prog trio Los Doggies has been on the kind of roll in the last few years that can often spell doom: releasing way too much interesting and challenging music in too short a period. Not long after their four-song epic full-length Ear Op set my ear on its ear, Evan Stormo, Jesse Stormo and Matt Ross deliver Heddagabalus, a seven-song tour de force that extends and modifies the mode begun with Ear Op: abstract, heavy on the odd-time jams that evoke the prog of Can and Soft Machine more than that of Yes and Genesis, and with very little joking of the kind that used to define the outfit in its early years as New Paltz’s too-smart hard rock clowns (unless you find the line “I will circumcise the foreskin of my heart” funny). As always, the compositions are witty and weird, pretty and alienating, the playing fierce and finessed. As to the title Heddagabalus, I get the Ibsen reference, but I don’t even want to know what “gabalus” is; probably something to do with brain anatomy or a Roman general.
Do not take Los Doggies for granted. Instead, take them out for grants. Help them celebrate yet another pearl of singular music at Snug Harbor in New Paltz on Saturday, June 9. Late. For more information, visit www.losdoggies.com.