Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

A pretty whacked-out, eccentric band from S.F. that made noisy, clattering art-rock of a surprisingly approachable variety. Through all the wonky guitar noodlings, strained screams, pummeling drums, there's a lot of melody and... story arc.

The easiest point of entry is probably 1994's Strangers from the Universe, their fifth LP, which flits from screechy noise-pop (impossible to imagine Deerhoof, their neighbors, weren't mega fans) to sentimental star-gaze to goofy rock-out. Grabs your attention and keeps its grip on your ear tight. A seriously captivating listen.

Earnestly nerdy stuff with no airs, no pretention. Ridiculous and comic in the way bands like, say, Ween were ridiculous and comic, but these guys had their cerebral dial turned way up.