The compelling blend of steely angularity and colorful melody of Triangle trio Death to the Details suggests one of architect Frank Gehry's gleaming, cornerless creations: Despite the varied angles and assorted odd constituent shapes, everything seems to flow together seamlessly. The jagged imprint of D.C. post-punks like Jawbox pops up frequently, though the malevolent strut of "Black Rover" and churning squall of "Fifth Guitar Fronter" recall Chicago punks Naked Raygun and Breaking Circus, respectively. But for every bit of storm, there's an equally impressive downbeat drift, like that of "Autumn" or the textured jangle of high school recollections in "Breezeways and Snow Days." It all fits.
The words shaping the songs from beneath work, too. Brian Overington paints dense figural stories with smart rhymes: "Twenty Something Miles" employs travel metaphors and an image of a hospital ward as a springboard for contemplating family. The somber "Resurgam" recounts a friend's suicide: "The trouble with being so smart was your demons were just as bright."
If you're looking for a piddling complaint, these 10 tracks—devoid of a dud as they are—don't offer one particularly galvanizing track. It's hard, though, to quibble with such a well-built debut.
Death to Details plays two shows this week: The Reservoir Wednesday, March 25, at 10 p.m. with The Alcazar Hotel and Instant Jones (Donate generously, or better yet, buy the album at 10 p.m.); The Cave Saturday, March 28, at 10 p.m. with Rooster for the Masses.