Lips of Calypso
Lounge on Fire
Known for horn-blasting, pheromone-releasing gigs, small army Lounge on Fire couldn’t be faulted if its “sexadelic freak funk” didn’t quite translate on album. But instead of letting the perspiration dry in the recording studio, these seven dudes set the place ablaze. Singer-guitarist Nathan Norton uncorks lyrics with the urgency of a carnival barker and the rhythmic playfulness of an MC. (Who exactly is he channeling during “Flat on Your Back” — Anthony Kiedis or Isaac Brock?) These 10 quirky grooves make a solid case as the early frontrunner for local album of year, particularly in the spastic dancing category. loungeonfire.com.
The Rising Mediocrity
Think Spock’s Beard. Think Umphrey’s McGee. Think Yes. Or think “no” — but only if Meridian prog-rock with jam-band vibes isn’t your bag. On its fifth outing, Pravda tackles a wide array of lyrical topics (“Pandering to the Pinheads” feels like a fitting title in today’s grouchy political climate). Pravda’s time-signature-swappin’ formula is to blend vintage-sounding keyboards with metallic shred-guitar, emphasizing instrumental chops. It’s all fairly accessible, at least when you consider that the group’s last record was a concept album. facebook.com/pravdajamband.
Find a Reason
Birthed in the late ’90s and fronted by Scott Schmaljohn (Treepeople, Stuntman), The Hand returned with a retooled lineup a few years ago. The Boise power trio’s influences include “old blues, hard rock, pop and punk” ranging from “Black Sabbath to Black Flag.” Schmaljohn’s squealing guitar on the title track makes it clear why the group fit the bill for a West Coast tour with Built To Spill in 2016. Fans can get a taste firsthand when the nine-song album comes out Feb. 23 in conjunction with two Boise record-release shows. facebook.com/thehandrock.