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Heavy Lights @Ampersand

AT FIRST LISTEN, I thought this Maryland band’s Mad Minds was an early Band of Horses album (before Ben Bridwell decided he’d rather be Levon Helm, that is) … it grew on me.

Heavy Lights is for you if you’re partial to the big-sounding pop/rock of Built to Spill or The War on Drugs, or the sort of experimental songs with grandiose choruses linked by bursts of reverb-drenched electric guitars, dissonance and sweeping synthesizers that lots and lots of bands are laying down these days.

Still, the arrangements are complex and interesting. There are finely-etched Americana sounds, too, Wilco-via-Neil Young stuff, on Mad Minds, every tune featuring stellar harmonies and the falsetto lead vocals of band founder Ryan Nicholson (man, that guy has a high voice!)

Opening: Savannah’s Keith Baudry is the singer and guitar-basher half of the lo-fi duo Sister Beards. He performs and records with a drummer (see White Stripes, The) and describes Sister Beards as “a revolving door for whoever I might end up working with.”

At 10 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13.