Story-songs and concept albums are well-known tools of the rock trade, but they're often presented with orchestral prog-rock grandiosity - you know, choirs and violins and stuff. Columbus' own Wing & Tusk offered up just such an album this summer with its splendid debut The Secret of Toadflax Tea.

Story-songs and concept albums are well-known tools of the rock trade, but they're often presented with orchestral prog-rock grandiosity - you know, choirs and violins and stuff. Columbus' own Wing & Tusk offered up just such an album this summer with its splendid debut The Secret of Toadflax Tea.

The band playing Circus next Thursday takes a slightly different tack.

Savoir Adore is just as artsy and ambitious as any narrative-driven rock band, but the songs on its debut, In the Wooded Forest, are rooted in synth-pop, new wave and Death Cab-worthy indie-rock lite.

With sonic signifiers like that, you wouldn't pop this disc in blind and guess it was a concept record. In fact, I'm still trying to figure out what Paul Hammer and Deidre Muro are singing about.

Thankfully, these songs succeed on a pop level better than they work as high art. Although the lyrics for "Transylvanian Candy Patrol" can't live up to that title's abundant potential, the music comes close. Maybe if I keep digging, I'll latch on to some sort of plot, but if I never find it, I won't mind much.

Opening the show will be Tin Armor, a Columbus pop-rock quartet with its own significant storytelling prowess. Have a spin through "The Misanthrope" from 2006 collection A Better Place Than I Have Been and hear for yourself.