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Perfect upcoming tour match: D.C. art-schoolers Shudder to Think and New York power trio Chavez. Like the melodicism of the Shudders’ new 50,000 B.C., Chavez’s second shows the angular noise of these scene veterans coalescing into more and more poppy shapes. Seemingly opaque at first, the album quickly reveals real tenderness in songs like “Unreal Is Here” and “Ever Overpsyched.” The sideways mosh-soundtrack of “Tight Around the Jaws” manages space for glockenspiel and some Middle-Eastern-by-way-of-Zeppelin lines, while the late-Velvets vocal harmonies that back the love story in “The Guard Attacks” sound as if they’re wafting onto tape from under the console. A similar murmur touches down in “New Room,” giving way midway to a guitar line copped from “Hell’s Bells” before soaring into a glorious movement that resembles Glenn Branca’s idea of a hit single. That kind of switch-up gets pulled here more than once; every time it seems the record is quieting down, another brick gets tossed. And vice versa. Again and again the guitars emulate the proverbial hive of bees and even play straight hard-rock chords that could get an arenaful of Bush fans pumping their fists. None of it feels theoretical, either: This thing breathes the way too much commercial-alternative metallism seems unable to do lately. And when Chavez breaks its compact aesthetic (most tracks under three minutes) to go long on “Flight 96,” it’s enough to elicit cheers and maybe even a flick of the Bic.Rickey Wright