For a band known for borrowing the super-sized approach of Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene, youthful Raleigh six-piece Annuals has a better handle on dynamics than you'd expect. Sophomore effort Such Fun funnels the explosive contents of their debut Be He Me into territory that's warmer, richer and more nuanced.
Despite the maturation, these are clearly children of the video-game generation. Consider "Eyes in the Darkness," a restrained rhythmic voyage whose understated organ trills could have been ripped from Super Mario World. The Ratatat-style harmonized guitars of "Hot Night Hounds" recall 8-bit glory days too.
They'll play Tuesday with Company of Thieves, a catchy but somewhat flimsy female-fronted trio whose pop creations remind me of ace Canadian rockers Land of Talk minus the guitar heroics and nervous tension.
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1
Where: The Basement, Arena District