experimental metal/thrash/prog and rock, 8 p.m.
Is there a place for banjo in the metal world? That's a question that perhaps was first asked when Mastodon released their breakthrough album Crack the Skye in 2009. But the question was never adequately answered. After all, the weapon of choice for music-making hillbillies was only featured on one song on Skye, and it was a tossed-off intro and nothing more. But now, we have an answer, and that answer is yes, thanks to Columbia-based band Burnt Books and their lead singer and banjo player Zoe Lollis. "Zoe has been writing and performing solo songs with her banjo for many years," Burnt Books drummer Troy Thames says. "We were all fans of hers before she joined the band. When we started writing the songs for the record, we all agreed to put a couple of Zoe's song on the record." While Lollis' songs, "Liar" and "Materialist Conspiracy Theorist," veer toward the bare-bones roots-rock side of the musical spectrum, the rest of the LP is packed with riff-heavy acrobatics and time-change whiplashers, thanks in part to the studio skills of Kylesa guitarist Phillip Cope. Thames, for one, doesn't see the band changing its ways just yet. "It's hard to say what the future plans are for songs. We just write what comes to us," he says. "It probably goes back to having a lot of members with different interests that makes the music feel like it is swerving all over the place." —Chris Haire