What is it about these previously undistinguished little towns that causes them to suddenly become indie rock meccas? Perhaps the presence of a big university nearby. That's what did it for Austin, Chapel Hill, and maybe the newest college rock entry, Champaign-Urbana, home of
Braid, Menthol, and the Poster Children, among others. That Midwestern region has most recently produced the dissonant rock outfit Rectangle. The four-cornered foursome displays a love for guitars and all the strange, magical things they can do in their twisted but catchy indie rock songs. Listen for alternate tunings, effects pedals, and weird, almost Middle Eastern chord progressions as Rectangle's dual tensile guitar lines twine around one another like gossamer threads woven by hyperactive spiders. Yes, Poster Children indie rock magic carpet rides can be counted an influence on the Illinois quartet's sound, as can a number of the usual indie rock suspects -- Sonic Youth, Pavement, and The Pixies -- but Rectangle has a creepy, mangled, sometimes startling mien all its own. The band debuted in 1998 with an EP, Prowl Across the Arctic, then came back in 2000 with their first album, Bunker (produced by the Poster Children's Rick Valentin), where you can find the featured "Kilowatt Per Hour Counter" and "John Canoe."