Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe will return to a familiar haunt armed with a new record this weekend.
“New Ammo” was released Tuesday and utilizes the full potential of the band, Denson said Tuesday from his home in San Diego.
“It’s definitely a band collaboration, more of a band concept and feel,” Denson said. “We wrote the tunes together. A couple of the guys brought tunes in that are on the record. So it’s much more of a full-band project.”
The group kicks off the West Coast leg of its “New Ammo” tour with a two-night stand at Crystal Bay Casino. “New Ammo” is the first album for the Tiny Universe since 2009’s “Brother’s Keeper.”
The album includes a host of diverse originals, as well as five cover songs, including a flute-drive version of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” a funked out recording of Cold War Kids’ “Hang Me Up to Dry” and a smooth take on the Beastie Boys “Sure Shot.” The Cold War Kids track was a suggestion from a manager, “Sure Shot” was inspired by a Beastie Boys tribute the Tiny Universe did with Slightly Stoopid and “Seven Nation Army” is a nod to Jack White, of whom Denson is a big fan.
“Grenadiers” and “The Duel” are songs from old 1970s movies, Denson said Tuesday. The latter has the feel of soaring spy movie theme song. It is especially exciting to play live, Denson said.
“‘The Duel’ is really fun, just because it has so much stuff. It’s got so many little pieces of ear candy for the audience,” Denson said. “And to try and execute it perfectly is also a big task.”
Following a string of East Coast dates in support of the album, this weekend’s shows should find the band especially tight, according to the frontman.
“The band sounds great right now,” Denson said. “The band’s in really good form. We’re having a lot of fun.”
Before Tuesday it had been about five years since the band released a new record. It shouldn’t be quite as long before fans will have new Tiny Universe tracks to listen to. Denson is busy writing songs for the next record and hopes to have it out by the summer of 2015, he said.
In the meantime, fans can relish the band’s renowned live show.
“We’re just trying to have a dance party — just trying to get people moving and listening and having fun,” Denson said.
Robert Walter, keyboardist and founding member of the Greyboy Allstars, will be a special guest at both Crystal Bay Casino shows. Mojo Green plays the after-party Friday, while Jelly Bread closes out the festivities Saturday.