There are days that I O.D. on indie rock, especially when the newer bands put out stuff that seems headed toward ’80s import, meaning the dark days of synth and ugly haircuts. But then some fresh group such as Little Brazil comes along and recharges the rock and roll batteries. They are from Nebraska, founded a couple of years ago as a side project by Landon Hedges. His name is recognizable in the architecture of Nebraska rock, having played with Conor Oberst and in a band called the Good Life. The emo thing sends bad shivers up and down my spine, and Hedges has some of the essence of emo about him, but I can overlook that in this case. His guitar in Little Brazil rings with manly garage-band stamina. LB does early Death Cab for Cutie better than Death Cab did, this perhaps because they have had the time to reflect on what it was that Death Cab was really all about.
Little Brazil includes fellow cornhuskers Greg Edds, Danny Maxwell, and Oliver Morgan. All are young men who have only recently come of age; in the past, their chosen subject matter would have indicated that they were still deep in the grips of figuring themselves out: “Were you ever in love?/ Did you ever feel like this was the one?” Hedges sings. “Or was I just a stepping stone to help you grow up?”
Little Brazil is touring now in support of their latest CD titled Son, said to be a collection of semifictional short stories set to a chunky mass of guitar-based rock. That LB split their focus on youth sentiment with the angst of the Middle Ages ups the level of their songwriting intelligence quotient way past that of a band blindsided by their own collective immaturity. But is it asking too much of an obscure group from Omaha to save indie rock from itself? Only time will tell.
LITTLE BRAZIL, Casbah, Saturday, March 14, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $15.