The new LP by Chapel Hill trio Monsonia is called 33.3, one speed at which a piece of vinyl spins on a turntable. Here, though, the reference seems less like a proclamation of format (33.3 is indeed only available on 180-gram vinyl) and more like a nod to process and perfection. Recorded by Monsonia bassist and veteran engineer Nick Petersen (from Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago to Maple Stave's debut LP, he's seemingly everywhere), 33.3 is a painstaking, perfection-minded album. The music is economical and chiseled, with each beat, riff, swell and slink planned for minimal attention and maximum impact. The production is thick but dynamic, too, with Petersen's bass and Andy Willard's drums forming the perfect broad cradle for the spirals and slices of guitar and the irascible blasts of frontman Carter Browning. Would-be psychedelic heroes Minor Stars and exhilarating metal upstarts MAKE open. —Grayson Currin
Corrections (Nov. 10, 2010): See comment below.