Beats Antique has a vision. The three-piece San Francisco electronic outfit has never been content to rest in the land of wub and glitch, instead incorporating cross-cultural sounds and live instrumentation and touring with a bombastic roadshow highlighted by member Zoe Jakes' seductive belly dancing. With A Thousand Faces the band has pushed the vision further, creating a concept album to go along with author Joseph Campbell's 1949 exploration of the monomyth The Hero with A Thousand Faces.
"Overture" is a sultry call to the dance floor that shakes things up immediately, though much of what follows is a more downtempo affair. Surprises abound, like Les Claypool lending his signature dementia-infused bass to the oily track "Beelzebub." "Doors of Destiny" is the only real weak, link as a campy game-show dialogue briefly gives way to standard dubstep. But it's mostly high-brow stuff here, and while not weighing in as the group's most energetic release, the album's dynamic enough to warrant repeated listens. A Thousand Faces is only one way to experience the band. By the looks of their tour teaser on YouTube, their Missoula show will be a circus.
Beats Antique plays the Wilma Wed., April 9. Doors at 7 PM, show at 8. $25/$20 advance at Rockin Rudy's and eventbrite.com.