Los Angeles-based outsider artists Sprain play downer music at cacophonous volumes. Their new album, As Lost Through Collision, unfurls threads of spidery ’90s rock (think Unwound, Duster, Slint, etc.) and is a complex and cathartic exercise in tension and restraint. Formed in L.A. in early 2018 by Alex Kent and April Gerloff, Sprain‘s initial home-recorded forays into minimalistic slowcore resulted in their self-titled EP (2018) that distinguished them from the lo-fi pack through visceral expressions of depressed life. Soon, guitarist Alex Simmons and drummer Max Pretzer joined, folding tumultuous noise rock, drone, and flirtations with the avant-garde into the band’s arsenal. Touring converged these explorations into Sprain’s current sound: pure 21st century panic strained through a wall of piercing, feedbacking guitar amps. Written at home and refined on the road, these five new tracks are parts monolithic and minimalist, manic and mellow. Engineered by Josiah Mazzaschi at The Cave (Built to Spill, The Jesus and Mary Chain) and mixed by Tim Green at Louder Studios (The Melvins, Lungfish, Jawbreaker), the music here retains its organic purity and captures the band in its truest state. While the noticeable persuasion from ’90s post hardcore and noise rock is palpable, this release takes cues from 20th century avant-classical such as Xenakis and Penderecki. The end result is freewheeling and urgent, dynamic and destructive, and Sprain is marked by an aggressive versatility that has been sorely lacking in recent guitar music.