It’s been almost five years since the last album, “Dusk,” from Ladyfinger(ne) came out.
“Errant Forms,” the band’s newest release, comes out Tuesday on Saddle Creek Records. (Watch the band play new track “Away Too Long” in the label’s offices.)
Known for a classic rock sound with a little howl and some hard rock punch, Ladyfinger(ne) will play an album release show Friday at The Waiting Room Lounge with The Seen and The Hussies.
You’ll notice a different group of faces onstage if you check out the band’s show, as Ladyfinger(ne) has taken on Dan Brennan as the band’s bassist. You might know Brennan as the house sound engineer at Slowdown or from his days playing bass in The ’89 Cubs.
Brennan joined the band last year before Ladyfinger(ne) recorded “Errant Forms,” and he’s up to speed on the past material. His style is a bit different compared to the band’s former bassist.
“It’s sonically different. Dan has a much different style than (former bassist) Ethan (Jones) and a different tone that he uses,” said singer Chris Machmuller. “(The music) inevitably has a different personality… Dan’s the sort of player where he’s going to embellish things a little bit.”
Friday’s release show will also include a keyboard player, which isn’t a spot filled by one of the band’s four members. Machmuller played keys on the album, but credits “the really good-sounding stuff” to Ben Brodin.
I caught up with Machmuller while he was working at his new bar, O’Leaver’s Pub, which he now runs with band members of Cursive.
Between that and the album release, he’s a busy guy. Add the fact that Machmuller and his wife are expecting a child, and things are getting even more hectic.
Oddly enough, the song “Dark Horse” sort of predicted things.
“(She) wasn’t even pregnant when I wrote ‘Dark Horse,’” he said. “It wasn’t like she was pregnant and (I) sat down and did it right then. It’s funny to me that it’s some kind of self-fulfilled prophecy, but the character in there isn’t necessarily me.”
Machmuller said he dabbles in topical writing, but most of the time, the stories in the band’s songs go off in their own direction.
One of my favorite tracks from “Errant Forms” is “Hole In My Sole,” which says “I don’t understand what it is that you call rock ‘n’ roll” and calls out a group of musicians as a “generation of fools.”
“Maybe it’s just a little bit about the generation gap that I’m starting to pick up on with the very young adults,” he said. “I feel like a certain group’s work ethic has gone out the window. Entitlement has increased. Furthermore, I don’t understand what you call rock and roll. It’s like somebody’s dad would say: ‘What is this noise? What is this crap?’”
Maybe Ladyfinger(ne) is the answer. As I mentioned earlier, they have a classic sound, but it’s updated with hard-hitting, gritty punk. There’s no doubt that it’s rock ‘n’ roll.
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My column, also cleverly titled Rock Candy, appears every Thursday in the GO magazine of the Omaha World-Herald and on Omaha.com/GO. It’s reprinted here on Fridays.
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