New Invisible Joy

With Waiting for Evangeline, Tokyo Rose, and Still Life Projector. Saturday, July 17, at the Lime Spider.

To hear New Invisible Joy guitarist Mike Gaydos tell the story, the band isn't necessarily a big fan of vintage alt-rock -- God is. "When John, our singer, was looking for a name for the band," explains Gaydos, "he supposedly picked up a Bible, opened up to random pages, pointed his finger, and used the words that he pointed to: 'new,' 'invisible,' and 'joy.'"

That was nearly six years ago. The Pittsburgh quartet's lush, barely structured early material earned comparisons to Radiohead, invariably invoking the description "ethereal." The group's very occasional hooks -- take the time to find "Something of a Cat and Mouse" from their 2000 debut, Pale Blue Day -- didn't so much soar as leap directly into the stratosphere. New Invisible Joy began writing (somewhat) conventional songs right about the time that Yorke et al. stopped. Two albums later, the see-through-happy crew has found a balance between singer John Schisler's falsetto-leaning vocals and Gaydos's blissfully insidious guitar lines. On tracks like "It Ain't Easy," Brian Colletti hits the drums like he's desperately trying to burn off a few pounds, proving that the best emotional rock isn't emo.