Austin, Texas power trio, Megafauna, knows how to take music to an expansive apex.

The threesome’s 37-minute sophomore release, Maximalist, is a virtuosic showcase for singer/guitarist Dani Neff, bassist Greg Yancey and drummer Zack Humphrey. During 11 taut rockers, Megafauna dexterously balances riff-heavy hard rock, a prog rock predisposition (think mid-‘70s King Crimson), garage rock-like energy and some melodic pop elements.

Lashing opener “Eggs” has an optimistic edge juxtaposed by shifting time signatures and Neff’s Metallica-esque guitar shredding, while the concordant, mortality drama “Time to Go” incorporates ringing guitar, vocal harmonies and a punching rhythm.

Initial single, the hurtling “Haunted Factory”—about making changes for a brighter tomorrow—features distorted bass and Neff’s momentum-fueled guitar picking.

Curious characters abound, such as the chilling “Two Headed Girl” and the stark, darkness-drenched “Carnie Girl,” who glides down an endless highway.

Maximalist has an authoritative undertow, but Megafauna smartly never focuses on flagrant flash: nuance and distinction are just as important.

Grade: B