Led by former Trendy frontman Aaron Brooks, Akron's Simeon Soul Charger is one of the area's best new bands. After a pair of EPs, their debut album, Meet Me in the Afterlife, thrives on stretching out. The opening "Vendanta (The Nothing)," a post-prog workout that recalls the Mars Volta, carries on for nearly six minutes. "The Swallowing Mouth" hits the eight-minute mark. And "Into the Afterlife," a droning ballad with twisty time signatures, eventually devolves into an indulgent jam. Shifting between prog, rock, and pop, Meet Me in the Afterlife boasts a swaggering confidence, blatantly defying categorization. — Jeff Niesel
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