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Bon Savants and Indie-Rocket Science

Bon Savants' members concoct a genteel mix of wobbly breakup songs and clumsy attempts to pitch woo.
Bon Savants' members concoct a genteel mix of wobbly breakup songs and clumsy attempts to pitch woo.

In what may be rock's best-ever day job, Thom Moran, lead singer of Boston's Bon Savants, moonlights as a rocket scientist at MIT. On the band's new disc, people drink a lot, contemplate outer space and discuss Schrodinger — in other words, exactly the sort of album a rocket scientist might make.

Post Rock Defends the Nation is both compelling and kind of dorky, a genteel mix of wobbly breakup songs and clumsy attempts to pitch woo. Its best track, "Between the Moon and the Ocean," sounds like music Echo & The Bunnymen might have made after four years at Carnegie Mellon. It's overly clinical — Moran can't discuss the moon without addressing the effects of lunar gravity — and doesn't have much of a hook, but it's inexorably lovely.

While it's tough to tell whether the track's protagonist is a murderer ("I killed my love in the ocean") or just a big fan of metaphors, it may be, well, academic: Perhaps not since the early days of Nick Cave has an indie-rocker been able to conjure up such an effective mix of awkwardness and menace.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Allison L. Stewart
Allison Stewart is a writer living in New York. It's entirely possible to see her work in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, No Depression, Rolling Stone or any number of other places. Or to miss it entirely, which is just as likely.