The Hecks Credit: Ashleigh Dye

What a journey it’s been for the Hecks. When the Chicago group started out in 2012, they were a duo: guitarist Andy Mosiman and drummer Zach Hebert, who made a mind-bending racket out of minimalist, Sonic Youth-inspired art-rock noise and spooky drone-pop. By the time they released their self-titled debut full-length in 2016, they’d expanded into a trio with second guitarist Dave Vettraino, blossoming into a herky-jerky juggernaut that touched on the genius of postpunk touchstones such as Devo and Wire. Somewhere between that record and their brand-new My Star (Trouble in Mind), the Hecks picked up yet another member, synth player Jeff Graupner, and transformed themselves into a next-level prog-pop powerhouse. The songs on My Star are expansive, knotty, alien-funk workouts that blur the lines between organic and digital, with barrages of electronic percussion, high-voltage guitar stabs, and idiosyncratic, over-the-top vocal parts. The effect recalls the 80s golden era of the Adrian Belew-led King Crimson, with its intersection of undeniable pop, funky punk, and brainy dexterity. My Star is a masterpiece from a band that have always been ahead of the curve—and this time around, they level the curve with steamrollers and dynamite.   v