Sound Advice: The 4onthefloor with Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band and The Easthills

Saturday • Taft Theatre (Ballroom)

click to enlarge 4onthefloor

Minneapolis rockers The 4onthefloor came together in 2009 and gradually built up a fervent fan base in its hometown. In 2011, the group released its debut album, 4X4, and began touring more consistently, building its national profile (the album’s “Workin’ Man Zombie” was chosen as the theme song for Duck Dynasty when its first season was released on DVD and digitally). The 4onthefloor’s third album, All In, was released earlier this year.

The first thing you notice about the Minneapolis foursome’s music is the stomp — a driving, unrelenting pulse that pounds its way through practically every song the band has recorded. The rhythmic thrust isn’t for lack of imagination; it’s actually by design and is part of the group’s identity. The heavy reliance on a pulsating 4/4 time signature gave The 4onthefloor its name, and on stage, each member of the band is equipped with their own bass drum (so there are four of them on the floor — get it?).

It might sound like a bit of overkill, but it actually works in the context of the quartet’s straightforward, Blues-infused sound. The booming throb of The 4onthefloor’s beat serves as a sort of amplified version of the sound of a pioneering bluesman’s stomping foot providing the rhythm on those earliest low-budget Blues recordings. It adds an almost hypnotic element. But The 4onthefloor isn’t a Blues band. The grungy, dynamic guitars slash and burn with modern vigor, showing a range of influences well beyond just Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan or Eric Clapton. And frontman Gabriel Douglas’ low-bellow-to-zealous-howl vocals bring to mind everyone from Eric Burdon and Jim Morrison to Glenn Danzig and Eddie Vedder.

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