The omnipresent quartet freshens up its classic sound with “Spirit of Minneapolis.”
“There’s too much music in the world / Nothing we haven’t already heard.”
Gabriel Douglas slow-moans that complaint in “Enough,” the second song on the second full-length album by his Southern-styled roar-rock band the 4onthefloor — a band that Twin Cities music scenesters heard plenty of following its relatively fast ascent in 2011. Howler frontman Jordan Gatesmith’s catty trash-talking of the 4otf crew last year likely had something to do with its overexposure locally. This is not a band that turns down many gigs. You know, the kind of band that loves what it does.
There’s not a lot that hasn’t been heard before on the new album, “Spirit of Minneapolis,” but there’s more than enough to still love. The band sticks to its nothing-fancy 4/4-time structure and snaky basement-boogie guitar riffs, but it reloads with stronger songwriting. Many of the tunes, including “Enough,” sound compellingly weary and unsettled — probably from all the hard touring and rowdy lifestyle the quartet has enjoyed/endured since 2011. This is not a band that turns down a beer, either.
The best of these slow-burners is “Fear, Hope, Green or Me,” a carry-on anthem with gospel-ish undertones. Local music lovers are also going to savor “Hard Rain,” with Charlie Parr spreading his own heavy gospel touch as a guest vocalist. There are a few hard-throttling, punky fire-starters, too, including the lead-off track, “King of the Jungle.” The trite “Toast to the Land of 10,000” is a little too Vikings-tailgate-party, but it’s worth waiting through just to hear James Gould’s guitar work in the closing track, “Engine No. 4 Reprise.”
4otf hosted a live preview of the album for pre-order buyers Thursday at the Turf Club, and the release party is Saturday at First Avenue with the Evening Rig, Wishbook and Milwaukee kids Trapper Schoepp & the Shades (9 p.m., $10-$12).
The first big neighborhood music bash of the season, the Memory Lanes Block Party will feature Davina & the Vagabonds, Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles, Sean Anonymous with Dream Crusher, Malamanya, L’Assassins and more May 25-26. … Bummer timing: Mudhoney will finally return to Minneapolis for a block party outside Grumpy’s Downtown on July 20. That’s the same day as the still-festering First Avenue Festival. … Rock the Garden’s June 15 lineup will be announced April 16, followed two days later by the announcement of the July 12-13 Basilica Block Party. …
Low and a new-ish Low movie will be paired April 12 as part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival. Phil Harder’s “Low Movie (How to Quit Smoking)” is screening at 6:30 p.m at St. Anthony Main Theater followed by a live gig a few doors down at the Aster Cafe. Get tickets at MSPFilmFest.org. … Brother Ali is in South Africa this weekend performing at the Cape Town Jazz Festival. …
A month after his return to First Ave for Bobby Z’s big benefit, former Prince & the Revolution keyboardist Dr. Fink (a k a Matt Fink) is bringing his Purple Xperience tribute band to Neisen’s Sports Bar in Savage on Friday with his son Matt’s band, Q the Clique, opening (9 p.m., 4851 W. 123rd St.). … While it would have been nice to have it during the cold months, Icehouse kicks off a very welcome monthly kids-music bill Saturday with Adam Levy’s Bunny Clogs (11 a.m., $10). The next booking is with the book-publishing band Clementown on May 11.
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