Multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Dan Friel remains unrivaled at creating ferocious pop songs out of blistering noise. A mainstay of the Brooklyn underground as co-founder of noise-punk band Parts & Labor and the alchemist behind a slew of fuzz-baked solo releases, his spacerock trio Upper Wilds runs Friel’s ebullient spirit through mountainous art-punk, culling a rush of melody that drips with molten distortion. On their third album, Venus, the band naturally moves closer to the sun, expanding in both bombast and precision. Venus synthesizes the experimentation of debut Guitar Module 2017 and the thunder of 2018’s Mars into ten lean cosmic love songs. The rhythm section of bassist Jason Binnick and drummer Jeff Ottenbacher (Black Black Black, Golden Error) tear through off-kilter rhythms that land with meteoric impact. Friel’s guitar sputters and froths before soaring into frenetic leads that pack every moment with powerful melody. Alien croons and glitching sparks spill out of Friel’s wild, filtered humming amplified into oblivion. Venus’ few moments of respite lay bare the raw efficiency and beauty of Friel’s songwriting, like crackling space transmissions to loved ones thousands of miles away.