Over-the-counter rock

Minneapolis rockers The Color Pharmacy drive on big ambition.

Local trio The Color Pharmacy will be playing at Triple Rock Social Club on Friday night.

Anthony Kwan

Local trio The Color Pharmacy will be playing at Triple Rock Social Club on Friday night.

Andrew Penkalski

 

What: The Color Pharmacy

When: 10 p.m., Friday

Where: Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Avenue S.

 

The digital era has birthed an odd advent of rapid genre trends. So itâÄôs understandable how many groups will trade in a career of innovation for one hot debut strike of lightning. ItâÄôs not the most despicable approach.

The group may get a front-of-the-book nod in Spin, and they may sell out a few of their bigger dates on the North American tour. But those sunny glo-fi tracks will likely carry a project like Neon Indian only so far.

Fortunately, such avenues of creativity are wasted on MinneapolisâÄô The Color Pharmacy, a trio whose style is only as specific as rock âÄônâÄô roll. ItâÄôs the open-ended approach, however, that has allowed frontman Jake Dilley and friends to carry out each record with some big weird ideas.

The Color Pharmacy is a project that was born out of appropriately ambitious roots. In 2006, Dilley created and performed an alternate soundtrack to âÄúWilly Wonka and the Chocolate FactoryâÄù while going to school in Iowa City. He did so under The Color Pharmacy moniker.

After an eventual move to Minneapolis, his little solo project would evolve into a band. However, the openness to big ideas was never shed, namely in regards to the visual. The group spent a substantial amount of time between 2008 and 2010 developing a three-dimensional project entitled T.R.I.P.S., one that furthered the development of DilleyâÄôs earlier Wonka progressions of psychedelia. However, after a string of mixed media efforts, Dilley and company got back to basics with their toned down âÄúDetour EP.âÄù

âÄúIt just felt like the right time to make some straightforward pop songs,âÄù Dilley said, âÄúbecause it wasnâÄôt fun working on seven songs for two years.âÄù

Their new LP âÄúTexatonkaâÄù is a culmination of the groupâÄôs spattering of interests and visions. While âÄúDetourâÄù was a record carried by jovial twanging guitars, âÄúTexatonkaâÄù is a return to the more expansive, progressive guitars of DilleyâÄôs earlier video supplements. Yet, the breathy cadence found through the radio pop of âÄúDetourâÄù still lyrically resonates across these moodier tracks.

âÄúThey are more straightforward pop songs,âÄù Dilley said, âÄúbut thereâÄôs still the element of mystery that was there in some of the more progressive psychedelia.âÄù

Much like the bandâÄôs collection of work, the album was the result of some larger ambitions. The group spent last summer recording in their uptown studio for three 10-song releases. In rock âÄônâÄô roll fashion, these would be playfully marketed and released on the date Oct. 10, 2010.

However the torrential storms of last year led to a studio flood that hindered the larger release. The group transplanted to Texas Avenue and Minnetonka Boulevard in St. Louis Park, Minn. to wrap up the project, an experience that seems to have had its benefits.

âÄúA lot of it just developed in that kind of jam space,âÄù bassist and producer Matt OâÄôBrien said, âÄúthings that wouldnâÄôt happen just by one person sitting in front of a computer.âÄù

That unison of players is what makes âÄúTexatonkaâÄù such an engrossing listen. While the songs all tout a standard pop length, the swells of guitars and drums sprawl out in a way that resonates largely from their sessions together. The standout track, âÄúThe Ride pt. 2,âÄù works with a longer gestation time as a means to milk that tug-of-war between percussion and strings until it boils over.

âÄúItâÄôs really been me and him and the drummer growing together in the studio.âÄù OâÄôBrien said. âÄúThatâÄôs really what helped âÄòTexatonkaâÄô become so polished.âÄù

Still, the two-time South-by-Southwest vets have had a bit of trouble transplanting the recorded elements live. However, with a new engineer working the boards, OâÄôBrien is confident such dilemmas will subside. Considering how persistent The Color Pharmacy remains even amidst their setbacks, theyâÄôll likely find a way