By the Hedge, the 2011 debut by Brooklyn-based indie-pop band Minks, was one of that year’s quietly underrated records: a languid, sumptuous guitar-rock record that cribbed sounds and textures from the U.K. bands who’d called Creation Records home two decades prior. We haven’t heard much from Minks since then. Turns out, that’s because lead singer/songwriter Sean Kilfoyle wanted to move away from that dense, shoegazer approach, toward something more musically direct.
To do so, he literally moved, to the east end of Long Island, where he penned the songs that would comprise his follow-up record, Tides End, released this week. Trading pedal-effected guitars for bright synth melodies, Tides End evinces fidelity to the Cure and Felt. Minks will celebrate the release of the new record at Glasslands tonight; Spires and Green Eyes open. Glasslands, 289 Kent Ave., Williamsburg, Friday, doors at 8 p.m., $10.
The K-E-N in KEN mode is an acronym for “Kill Everyone Now,” which gives you a good idea what to expect from these guys. The quote actually comes from Henry Rollins’s description of his maniacal, frequently destructive stage-stalking presence from his time as Black Flag’s frontman, but KEN mode embody that mentality as well as anybody. The Canadian hardcore/metal band has been around since 1999, but is experiencing a minor breakout on the strength of its recently released fifth album, Entrench — a complex, aggressive bolt of heady math rock, no wave and hardcore that will churn through your brain like a buzzsaw. Catch them with Rosetta, Tiger Flowers and East of the Wall tonight. Saint Vitus Bar, 1120 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint, Friday at 8 p.m., $12.
RUN THE JEWELS
Here’s an absolutely killer rap lineup next week at Webster Hall: El-P, Killer Mike, Despot, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, and Kool A.D. (of Das Racist). Last year, El-P produced Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music; Mike later returned the favor by guesting on “Tougher Colder Killer” from El-P’s Cancer 4 Cure; both records rated as two of 2012’s best rap albums. The two teamed up again this year to form the hip-hop duo Run the Jewels, dropping a self-described “cool down” record as a free digital download that still goes hard. Don’t miss this one. Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St., East Village, Wednesday at 9 p.m., $25.
–Austin’s The Eastern Sea put out another of 2012’s quietest best albums, Plague, a puzzle-box of a record whose hummable melodies and fingerpicked guitar lines welcome the listener to some of the dark questions at its heart. The scenes that make up singer Matt Hines’s lyrics are like still-lifes, pored over from a place of existential remove. Rec’d if you like (older) Sufjan Stevens and Blood on the Tracks. Mercury Lounge, 217 E. Houston St., Lower East Side, Wednesday, doors at 9 p.m., $10.
–Infectious electro-pop outfit Wild Cub are playing Bowery Ballroom tonight. Recommended if you’re wondering whatever happened to I’m From Barcelona. Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St., Lower East Side, Friday at 9 p.m., $15.
–That Summer Camp we told you about is also this weekend. Hosted by the Wild Honey Pie with Consequence of Sound, Caveman, Yellow Ostrich, and Widowspeak will play campfire sets. Let us know if you’re going!