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Freewheeling Red Heads

The Parson Red Heads
The Parson Red Heads

As Evan Way, the lead singer and songwriter for the Portland-based rock band the Parson Red Heads, can attest, every experience can be a learning experience.

“With our previous record [2011’s Yearling] we spent maybe two years working on it, and when it takes that long to finish making an album, the one thing you want to do is not spend even close to that amount of time making an album ever again,” Way says with a laugh.

So while Yearling was recorded deliberately, the band’s October release, Orb Weaver, is more freewheeling. “We wanted this album to be more about the live dynamics of the band,” Way says, “the way we do live jamming and just the interplay between the band, instrumentally.”

A ’70s-era rock record in both sound and structure, Orb Weaver highlights the band’s improvisational talents. A nice time change halfway through the rocker “Small Change” shows the band can keep things loose, and an extended jam on “To the Sky” will have you air-guitaring in short order. 

“We just wanted to go in and make something that was fresh, keep things a bit more spontaneous and capture a different side of the band,” Way says. “That’s something we always try to do. We hope every record goes a little differently and shows a piece of what we’re about.”

The Parson Red Heads play with Mimicking Birds and Leo London 9:30 pm Friday, Nov. 1, at Sam Bond’s; $7.