Countless rock docs and tell-alls have confirmed it: Lead singers/songwriters are dictators. Call it an ego thing, but there's no denying that those dudes know what they want, and if that doesn't jibe with a band's established democracy, well . . . tough. Don't agree with the lead singer? You'll be looking for a new gig, buddy. Since their inception in 2007, Phoenix indie band Field Tripp, under the leadership of Dan Allmond, has operated differently from the Behind the Music clichés. Though the indie rockers originally started out as a "power-folk-pop" trio, they've done nothing but accumulate members. So many, in fact, that it's tough to fit them comfortably on the tiny stages of Rogue Bar or Long Wong's, where they often perform. The outfit, featuring anywhere from seven to 10 members, requires some balance (and Tetris-like configuring) to cram on stage, but with that many cooks, you know the kitchen is full of unique ideas. Allmond seems entirely open to it all: The collective has morphed from taut power pop to a whimsical, all-out jam band with touches of Dashboard Confessional, Radiohead, and Modest Mouse coloring the songs. A schizophrenic combination, sure, but it works against all odds. Four years after launching, Field Tripp finally found its voice on its first full-length release, Super Ego-Friendly, a sprawling collection of songs with a title that nods at the band's transformative nature.
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