Red Barked Tree

On their awesome 2003 comeback set, Send, these UK art punks didn't just recapture the ferocity of their influential 1977 debut, Pink Flag — they exceeded it, like pitbulls gone rabid. Maybe with less to prove, the shapeshifters make some of their prettiest music ever here; apocalyptic vibe notwithstanding, the strummy guitar wash of "Adapt" wouldn't sound too out of place on a Coldplay CD. Which is not to say they don't still spit venom. "Fuck off out of my face" sings a cool-headed Colin Newman on the dreamy "Please Take." And on "Two Minutes," he conducts a non-sequitur debate with what sounds like a TV announcer over grinding guitars, sneering "I'll tell you who I hate on a daily basis." Now that'd be a show worth watching.

Listen to "Two Minutes":

Gallery: Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos