The last time discerning ears turned toward Australia for the Next Big Hip Thing was for the gonzo garage-rock of the now-disbanded Vines. The Presets are the latest hot import from Down Under, but have almost nothing sonically in common with their shambling, spastic predecessors. They may have brought guitars, but they came to take indie snobs and set their asses free. The Presets play hard, banging electro, robotic, and filtered enough to please dance-music purists, but often vocal-oriented enough to reach the disco-punk crowd. Think of the Faint, shake off the retro-schlock pretensions and trite lyrics, and the resulting basic groove comes close. The band's 2005 debut full-length, Beams, contains nary a filler track, from the cryptic, rhythmic incantations of "The Girl and the Sea" to the Love Parade-esque dance-floor banger "I Go Hard, I Go Home." The Presets are hardly strangers to Miami the band performed at least three nights in a row during this year's Winter Music Conference. They've even played once before at tonight's venue, Studio A, albeit during a surprise set sometime after 3:00 a.m. Still, tonight's performance is a triumphant return, with a proper headlining slot, at an hour decent enough to ensure that those in attendance might actually, this time, remember it. Arielle Castillo
The Presets perform at 11:00 p.m. Thursday,
September 14, at Studio A, 60 NE 11th St, Miami.
Admission is $10; eighteen and older welcome.
Call 305-358-7625 for more information.