Clemente—as in “San” or “Roberto,” we aren't sure—are from the microscopic burg of Snellville, Georgia, a mosquito splat on the Atlanta-Athens highway. And it's probably the kind of godforsaken hellhole where cousins Jefrey Siler and Keith Bailey could've easily picked one of two career paths: bathtub methamphetamine entrepreneurship or rock N roll. So far, they've chosen smartly, as their second full-length shows. Its 50 beatific minutes of endearing alterna-country are also some of the most deeply literate you'll find in any genre. The lyrics are often obtuse, laden with imagery that takes several listens to absorb, and just when you think you've got a verse figured out, it twists into something totally different: “Come in close to me/And involve me in the bribery that is your family/Your teeth measure the need the way that some tend to hate a language that they'll never master,” which, when you pick it apart, could really just be a more colorful way of mumbling “I'm trapped in this loveless relationship, but murdering you with a power drill to your skull probably won't solve anything.” So maybe these Clemente kids were raised in a TV-free house and only had books to entertain themselves, which might be how they got so brainy (they drop influences like Hemingway and Faulkner—at least that's what they claim). But what ultimately works best for us is their music—right from the outset, a fairly standard drumbeat unexpectedly surrenders to a warm viola, which slides neatly into an exquisite pedal steel, and soon, swaths of droning guitar fuzz join the party, striking a balance between the pretty and the gritty. Favorite tune: “Familiar,” which had better not be ironic since it reminds us of a bunch of other songs. But the riff and the melody are transcendent—just the right Wilco-y elements that keep us coming back for extra helpings. (Rich Kane)

Clemente perform with Elseworth, A Fall Farewell and Prisoner's Dilemma at Chain Reaction, 1652 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 635-6067. Thurs., April 22, 7:30 p.m. $8. All ages; and with A Flock Of Goo Goo at Alex's Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, (562) 434-8292. April 24, 9 p.m. $7. 21+.

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