One of the nicer surprises this year has to be The Shape of Things (Third Culture), the debut recording by busy Oakland-by-way-of-Santa Cruz foursome Man/Miracle. No, you don’t get Cruz-ish untrammeled psychedelia of Sleepy Sun nor the noise blues of Comets on Fire nor the spooked folk of Emily Jane White here. Instead you are bestowed with indie that has taken its vitamins and bounces merrily between commercial modern rock and feisty experimentation with remarkable urgency, recalling, at moments, the Talking Heads, at others, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and at still others, Wolf Parade. Produced and recorded by kindred Oaklander and onetime Beulah player Eli Crews, The Shape of Things finds its pulse somewhere between the rousing, handclap-sprinkled singalong “Pushing and Shoving” — previously released as a single — and the jittery, almost Afropop-tinged “Back of the Card,” which seems to ascend on a tide of rhythm guitars and Animal Collective-esque backing vocals. It won’t take a miracle to see this super-energized combo shaping a big ole following soon.
Man/Miracle play with Rogue Wave April 30, 9 p.m., at the Fillmore, 1805 Geary, SF. $19.50. (415) 346-6000, www.livenation.com