Behold the one-man band. Back in the day, that meant a guy who played drums and guitar at the same time, and maybe keyboard too for good measure. Now we have technology, so things done changed.

Behold the one-man band. Back in the day, that meant a guy who played drums and guitar at the same time, and maybe keyboard too for good measure. Now we have technology, so things done changed.

At this point, using loop pedals to build humongous soundscapes is nothing new, so we can stop appreciating the technique for its novelty and stick to evaluating whether performers deploy the trick powerfully. If you’re going to discard your bandmates, as Phil Cogley did with The Saturday Giant, your one-man show ought to be at least as good (if not better).

Cogley, whose most high-profile projects include popular tribute acts The Pinkertones (Weezer) and Mr. Fahrenheit and the Loverboys (Queen), started The Saturday Giant as a solo recording project circa 2009. To bring his ambitious art-rock to life, he pieced together a live band with members of Mr. Fahrenheit.

About a year ago, Cogley decided to go it alone — he and his gadgets against the world. I checked in on his progress last Saturday at Carabar.

Three microphones, a guitar, a keyboard, a drum machine and a mixing board were among Cogley’s tools, each manned just long enough to wring out a new layer of sound. Beatboxing and even heavy breathing were among the sounds weaved together seamlessly and smartly. I often forgot I was listening to loops at all. Even more remarkable was how artfully Cogley added and subtracted layers from the mix, dropping sounds in and out a la Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.”

The loops didn’t feel like a gimmick, but an effective way to bring the sound of his dreams to life. Hearing him unfurl harmonized guitar solos over massive post-rock was way more satisfying than his guy-and-guitar cover tune by disbanded local rockers Monolithic Cloud Parade.

All this effort would be for naught if Cogley’s songwriting was sketchy, but I found myself fully submerged in what felt like epic entries from a personal journal. His occasional forays into rapping were somewhat jarring and more than a little corny (“I’ll never be an artist like Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo/ But I make much better art when I put blood to pen to paint”), but at least it felt honest. The dude is building something unique.