The past couple of years have seen plenty of changes for the south Minneapolis four-piece Nallo. It was in 2011 that Lee first met Ranallo, who was playing a solo set at the Fine Line, and offered to play drums for him. Ranallo had already been playing around town for a while under the Nallo moniker (so named for an old nickname of his), performing what he describes as "weirdo folk." "I was getting kind of bored," he admits. "The structure could only go so far." With Lee on board, things shifted gears and headed toward more of a rock 'n' roll -- and, particularly, psychedelic -- direction. It's not too difficult to trace the band's evolution in the way their music has taken shape. On Mechano, the band's jangly, loose-strummed melodies had clear roots in Ranallo's folk background, but with a hypnotic quality that owed much to the repetitive structures and Lee's fuzzy, droning guitar work. The lyrics, too, added to the music's vaguely ominous tone: Songs like "Different" and "Marian," in particular, build narratives about death with a hint of black humor. Drugs for the Kids' two songs build on that, but they mark a change in direction, as well -- one toward sludgier, more insistent riffs. Or, as Pedersen jokes, "We've definitely been turning into more of a krautrock band -- which is totally okay with me." (Photo by Colleen Borgendale)
Fri., June 21, 10 p.m., 2013
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