Formed in 1992 in Boise, Idaho by guitarist and vocalist Doug Martsch, Built to Spill has since evolved radically, shed members, linked eras, and all the while endured as one of the most tuneful and rewarding acts of the lauded Northwest indie-rock tradition. The group signed to WarnerBrothers in 1995, but Martsch was wise enough to retaincontrol over production, and by 1999 he’d helmed thegroup towards commercial and critical success with Keep it Like a Secret. It was a touchstone album, and yet 2001’s Ancient Melodies Of The Future bested that career highlight with considerable grace and craft. Marsch’s studio proficiency is immediately evident in the alternately delicate and devastating mix of mellotron, keyboard, and inventive guitar overdubs that characterize Ancient Melodies Of The Future’s sonic palette. Melodic curlicues distinguish the minor hit “Strange,” while woozy grooves propel the mid-tempo ballad “Trimmed and Burning” through an incendiary solo section. As the album title suggests, Ancient Melodies Of The Future stands outside of history in a realm of its own.