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Sometimes you hear something so fucking amazing it almost hurts. In the case of A Minor Forest, expect to find yourself doubled over on the floor, trying desperately to dodge this trio’s heavy artillery. Despite the fact that most of math-rock’s major proponents have originated in the eastern half of the U.S. (Slint, June of 44, Pitchblende, and Don Caballero, for example), the genre’s influence reaches all the way to San Francisco, as the debut by these tough constructionists demonstrates. The stuff is infused with irregular tempos, moody vocals, and thoroughly well-planned songwriting, and is highlighted by the addition of an occasional cello. But what do you expect from a couple of Berkeley music grads? There’s obvious technical expertise, of course, but the songs are so tightly wound, the breaks and choruses so perfectly executed, that it’s hard to imagine them being played without some sort of written notation. In recording, the boys employed Steve Albini on the even tracks and Bob Weston on the odd, which makes for some interesting comparative listening, but the real pleasure lies in the smooth way separate sections of the songs melt into each other, trading cacophony for suddenly gentle melodies. Rumor has it that the drummer sets up in the middle of the stage, his back to the audience, in order to choreograph the whole extravaganza. And with song titles like “Jacking Off George Lucas” and “Perform the Critical Straw Transfer,” how can you help being intrigued?—Amy Domingues