Pelican has long been one of the indie-rock set's go-to heavy bands, in large part because they've always been pretty accessible. But on the Chicago instrumentalists' new What We All Come to Need, they seem to be actively courting the non-metalhead crowd. Forget menacing and mysterious; this music is almost friendly in its approach.

Pelican has long been one of the indie-rock set's go-to heavy bands, in large part because they've always been pretty accessible. But on the Chicago instrumentalists' new What We All Come to Need, they seem to be actively courting the non-metalhead crowd. Forget menacing and mysterious; this music is almost friendly in its approach.

Its many melodic passages play like a boxer jabbing his way to victory without approaching a knockout punch. Tempos stay safely in midrange. Guitars wave hello rather than give the finger. The music hugs you rather than ripping a hole in your chest. It's not bad, it's just pleasant - the contented man's progressive metal.

They probably won't be so sensitized next Thursday at The Summit. After Brainbow, Black Cobra and Disappearer, Pelican won't be able to go gently into that good night.