41 Gorgeous Blocks play the Wreck Room on Friday, March 5.
"Rock and roll. Period." That's how singer/guitarist Matt Riggle has described the fourth album in just over four years by his band, 41 Gorgeous Blocks. And it hits that mark. Two guitars, bass, drums, vocals is a tried-and-true formula, but they can only be manipulated so many ways. Here the Grand Prairie quartet aims for a sound described in press materials as "fuller, cleaner, yet somehow even simpler." Compared to effects-smothered, high-pretension bands, it's a welcome change, a rock-and-roller in the vein of The Modern Lovers. Likewise, the lyrics--straightforward and candid, as when Riggle asks, "What can I do now when all I'm certain of is doubt?"--are simple, too. But sometimes the simple gets oversimplified. The guitar work is a bit elementary and "Brown was the color of her hair/ When she smiled, magic filled the air" doesn't live up to the high expectations 41 Gorgeous Blocks has set for itself in live shows and on previous albums. Still, Well, I Sorta Know How You Feel is a record of maturity about finding one's place in the world and making peace with getting older. Fitting for a band named after a passage from The Catcher in the Rye.