While indie rock bands came and went during the past decade and a half -- some starting on a high note only to fizzle a little more each year -- Silkworm continually evolved in its own unique way. At times loud and abrasive, the Seattle-by-way-of-Missoula group could be equally soothing and thoughtful. But when drummer Michael Dahlquist died in a car accident, in 2005, surviving members Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen decided to close the book on Silkworm permanently, a rare and noble move in rock music.
They began anew with Bottomless Pit, a four-piece unit that naturally bears some sonic resemblance to its predecessor, but offers new possibilities and evidence that 4/4 rock music still has plenty of ideas to mine. Cohen shares vocal duties with Midgett, who also plays baritone guitar, an instrument whose range overlaps both traditional six-string gitbox and bass, adding a twangy jump to the low end and additional melodies on top. Drummer Chris Manfrin, late of '90s indie rockers Seam, and bassist Brian Orchard round out the lineup.
Hammer of the Gods, Bottomless Pit's debut, features tracks like "Dogtag," where spare guitars build to a roaring chorus and a wall of chords. It's an old approach to the verse-chorus dynamic, but with these guys it doesn't sound like a formula. "Leave the Light On" has a repetitive groove and some dub-like effects on the guitar, while "Dead Man's Blues" has a riff that almost evokes ZZ Top. Hammer marks the maiden release for Comedy Minus One, a New Jersey label launched by Jon Solomon, who ran the prolific indie label My Pal God for several years.
Bottomless Pit with The Karl Hendricks Rock Band and The Kyle Sowashes. 10 p.m. Sat., Nov. 3. Brillobox, 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. 412-621-4900 or www.brillobox.net