Red Barked Tree finds the band far afield from not only the kick and fuzz of 1977 but also the distorto-shock of the early-'00s Send era, as acoustic guitars and layered production are coupled with a depth of songwriting finesse. This is evident not only in the bounce of opener "Please Give" and the whoosh of "Two Minutes" but also in the plangent melodicism of "Down to This." In the end, it's not about being irascible — it's about jettisoning the unnecessary.
"For us," Newman says, "our process is a bit about a dislike of excess. And not just excess in arrangements, but emotional excess. Sometimes you have to be restrained to be more . . . real, emotionally."
WIRE + WEEKEND | Middle East downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | April 3 @ 8 pm | 18+ | $20 | 617.864.3278