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Preview: Futurebirds

Noah Bonaparte Pais previews the country-influenced indie rock band headlining One Eyed Jacks.

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Many bands operate with two or even three leaders, but five? Further dulling the old saw about too many cooks in the kitchen, Baba Yaga, the second album from Athens, Ga., country-rockers Futurebirds, is a most improbable potluck: assembled in pieces by a quintet of subtly shaded singer/songwriters; recorded over 45 scattered days at multiple studios, during a seven-month touring cycle; and picked up earlier this year by a respectable label, Fat Possum, after its authors had all but given up hopes of a release. Such a nonlinear back story should have yielded a confused patchwork, yet Baba Yaga's 13 tracks don't just hold together as a record — they're a testament to artistic perserverence and the exponential power of group dynamics, the product of five bands operating as one. De facto frontman Carter King may drive the van — his opening tandem "Virginia Slims" and "Serial Bowls" sets the course, a prairie of reverb-swathed steel guitars (courtesy of Dennis Love, the lone member who doesn't contribute songs) and swollen-tonsil Southern rock — but King knows how and when to cede the wheel. Of the rest, multi-instrumentalist Daniel Womack routes the most interesting detours, "Felix Helix" echoing Built to Spill's effortless way with indelible melody and "Heavy Weights" hitching a ride on the big-rig sing-alongs of tourmate Drive-By Truckers. After issuing Baba Yaga in April, Futurebirds announced the departure of drummer Payton Bradford, leaving the remaining four to pick up the slack. Somehow they'll manage. Diarrhea Planet opens. Tickets $12. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

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