Royal Bangs Royal Bangs has always been a band going in two directions at once. Over the course of three full-lengths, the Knoxville, Tennessee band has kept pace with the indie rock vanguard, maturing through leftfield guitar pop and MIDI dancefloor theatrics to 2011’s freedom-prog fuzzfest FLUX OUTSIDE, which found the band pared down to its creative core of Ryan Schaefer, Chris Rusk, and Sam Stratton. But the through-line of all these songs and sounds is a seemingly immovable youth: in Rusk’s playfully precise drum arrangements, in Stratton’s everywhere-at-once (and nowhere twice) guitar leads, and in Schaefer’s soulful, sky-eyed hooks lay an ebullience that hasn’t dulled since the trio first plugged in together as highschoolers. Call it a restless maturity: the songs take on the wisdom in boredom, misgivings and regret, but the sound is forever high hopes and thick skins. It’s appropriate that the band’s fourth album BRASS (due out September 17 on Modern Art Records) finds new destinations along those same two paths. Following FLUX's creative throat-clearing, Royal Bangs found an ideal collaborator in Knoxville multi-instrumentalist Dylan Dawkins and found their process evolving as they welcomed him. The resulting album – produced with the Black Keys' Patrick Carney, whose Audio Eagle Records first introduced the band to national audiences – is the work of a group at home in its own songs and skills, trading sonic fussiness for an organic sound, nailing down who they are as a rock band without skimping on the adventure. BRASS still splits its time between barreling rave-ups and expansive pop suites, but more than ever, each song sounds most of all like Royal Bangs.