7 p.m. Monday, September 18. Pop's (1403 Mississippi Avenue, Sauget, Illinois)

Sep 13, 2006 at 4:00 am
When Mellowdrone scored opening slots for the Killers and Johnny Marr, and leased a song to the Xbox game Project Gotham, people talked. And what they said — neo-goth, ambient-rock, synth-club-pop — wasn't exactly wrong, though they missed the self-aware humor and warm irony of this LA band. "Excuse me, is my rant taking too long?" singer Jonathan Bates asks on "Fashionably Uninvited." "Is it getting in the way of this lovely song?" Perhaps, though their ebb-and-surge sound — sheets of U2 guitars rippling and then pulled taut over beds of pumping live and sampled drums; fuzzy keyboards that bump into metalhead solos — is always more blissful than brooding, more convivial and instantly danceable than many of their cooler, new new-wave cousins.