SUPPORT FORCE knows how to make its medicine go down. The jagged edges of its music—of which there are many—are tempered by the band's knack for pristine, otherworldly beauty. The knife hits of its guitar-and-drum attack are alleviated by the group's calming haze of sound, a balm that languidly counteracts the music's more restless, agitated tendencies.
Singer/guitarist Jonathan Magdaleno says it has a lot to do with the group's careful attention to the balance of rhythm and melody, making sure they complement each other at all times. "When everyone comes together, it becomes a much more organic and natural thing," says Magdaleno, who started Support Force as a solo project in 2008, but has since turned it into a functioning band with drummer Booth Willson and guitarists Douglas Smith and Nick Laurich. "When I hear everyone else's parts, I get really, really excited about it. It's taken time," he says, noting how earlier efforts on his own left him dissatisfied, "but this is definitely getting there."
Support Force releases a two-song 7-inch single at Sunday's show, but there are also six additional tracks the band is making available online via Bandcamp, making the release closer to a long EP or even a short LP. The songs are culled from several months of recording, but they demonstrate the band's inventive power, with stormy, reverbed guitars reined in by tight, lockstep rhythm and concise pop songwriting.
The collection's title, A Grammar of Vision, is "something that I read in a book, actually," says Magdaleno. "It was a term that was coined by some professor in the '60s and it was this idea of being able to interpret and quantify how you see things and perceive things, and how there's a certain grammar in how people perceive things and digest sights. It was just a really interesting term that stuck out to me. There are certain songs that deal with, not necessarily vision itself, but descriptions of how things are perceived, and a lot of the songs are very personal, and very much singular first-person, so to me it's a catalog of that perception and the way that I digest things—be it emotions or experiences or other people or interactions."