Delicate Steve, the New Jersey outfit led by Steve Marion, thrives on cartoonish intensity. His guitar tones bend at angles that seem impossible, creating psychedelic fireworks and moving with prog-ish dexterity. Adapting this energy to songs that actually include words might seem a fool’s errand, but with Saint Rich he pulls it off quite nicely. The new outfit centers on Christian Peslak, a member of Marion’s touring band who just happens to write charming songs and sing them with breezy passion. Their chemistry is dynamite. Take “Officer,” the obvious highlight from their Merge Records debut Beyond the Drone. The song slams to life with a tremendous riff from Marion, filtering old-school country swagger through Technicolor pyrotechnics. Peslak’s words, an earnest plea to a neighborhood cop who is taking his job much too seriously, hold serve with wit and humor.
Opening tonight's show at Mercy Lounge are Blackfoot Circle and local dude Ryan Norris' Coupler. Starts at 9 p.m., costs $8.