Roz & the Rice Cakes’ fantastic new album Need to Feed (2014, Team Love Records) is a rigorously coherent and consistent piece of work. It feels like expansive, ambitious and arty rock, and it is all of those things; but it finds all its magic and its variety within an aggressively limited set of sounds. The Providence-based electric piano trio writes dynamic, gritty and skittish post-rock songs. The sharp corners have sharp corners. Cavernous, live-feel production highlights the trio’s striking combination of rawness and tightness, guts and musical sophistication.
A few numbers depart from the aggressive piano-trio template, most notably the ambient, modal chant of the album-opening “The Birds,” the calliope pop of “Missing” and the record’s one true incongruity, the cutesy folk duet “Follow Suit.” Otherwise, this record comes from one very deep and centered place, resisting the ever-ready options of antiquing, baroquing and toy-chest ornament.
And one of the best things about that is that you don’t even have to ask what they sound like live. This is it, and it rocks in the most refreshing and original way.
Roz & the Rice Cakes with Last Good Tooth, Thursday, August 28, 8:30 p.m., free, BSP, 323 Wall Street, Kingston; www.bspkingston.com.