Playing a prime 9 p.m. slot at Miami's Ultra Music Festival earlier this year, Cut Copy made for an odd stage presence.
The electronic and dance music bacchanal attended every March by thousands of ravers and wannabe ravers is dominated by brand-name DJs — Tiesto, Carl Cox. And yet, there was Cut Copy, in matching white suits — one of the few live bands on the three-day bill.
It was a fitting move for a band that's always striven to blend rock and dance music, and has mostly succeeded.
Two years after releasing its reputation-establishing "In Ghost Colours," it's back this year with "Zonoscope." On Wednesday, the band performs at Rams Head Live as part of a new American tour, which began at the Miami festival.
Haling from Melbourne, Australia, Cut Copy started early in the decade as the one-man band of Dan Whitford. Two years later, he had three other members and, on the back of an exuberant, glitter-drenched debut album (its songs included titles "Zap Zap" and "Bright Neon Payphone"), the group had a quick rise. Mid-decade, Cut Copy started touring with some of the most recognized names in dance rock, like Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand.
But "In Ghost Colours" made Cut Copy an international name. Exhaustingly high-energy, the album was packed with poppy club bangers like "Hearts on Fire" and "Feel the Love."
"Lights and Music," an adrenaline rush of a song that's more than three years old, is still as much a draw to the dance floor as it was when it came out.
To record the new album, "Zonoscope," the band rented warehouse space in Melbourne and knocked it out over a six-month period. The group recruited Ben H. Allen, one of the co-producers of "Merriweather Post Pavilion," by Baltimore's Animal Collective, to oversee production.
The result finds the group covering much of the same ground as the last album, and yet the shtick hasn't gotten old. It's giddy music, made to be danced to with a glow stick in hand. Paste magazine compared it to "Merriweather Post Pavilion," adding that it's "sparkling with dubby bass and reverb-soaked chanting."
If recent set lists are any indication, the band — which is now a four-piece — knows its old songs are still nimble crowd-pleasers. And at Rams Head, unlike the big stage at Ultra, they'll be played as intimately as they were meant to be.
Cut Copy performs at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place in Power Plant Live. Tickets are $30. Call 410-244-1131 or go to ramsheadlive.com.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun