As expected, The Connells’ Pterodactyl Club show (May 18) was jammed with college folks borne for the summer renewing local acquaintances and trying to scam beers from the ever-watchful staff. For the part of the crowd that paid attention to the opening act, though, Kansas’ a picture made, unveiled itself as a revelatory and inspiring• soon-to-be-major as evoking the same kind of feeling one might get upon witnessing a deed of selfless samaritanism amid apocalyptic chaos.

The metaphor is not as lofty or inappropriate as it seems. The just-released six-song EP from apm, Past, is a collection of deeds and remembrances; lyrics arc simultaneously personal and other-worldly, and the music underscores this impression with easy, pulsing rhythms and restrained jangles that suddenly burst with tension and propel the listener towards a destination where anthems are the norm. The dichotomy of bard-charging rock and more statcly balladry has always been an effective technique for a band – Witness the ascent of U2 (to whom apm has been compared), a band continually striving for that perfect balance between the sword and the rose.

The powerhouse rhythm section of drummer Steve Ritter and bassist Jack Langford bore down on the dub like a locomotive beaded for a damsel in distress. Guitarist Jack Harris, in particular, revealed himself to be far more than a folk-rock jangler as time after time he cranked out loud, screaming chords of the British postpunk variety.

Yet singer Bryan Plumlee was the focal point, without a doubt, gripping the mike so tightly the veins bulged on his wrist — as did those in his neck, so passionate was h4 delivery. It’s not hard to see why people compare him to Bono.

There was a whiff of pure, unbridled inspiration on stage that doesn’t reveal itself in every band. It’s as if a picture made has its sights fixed somewhere way beyond the rock ‘n’ roll stage, and wants to take the audience along.