Houseguest's 2006 album High Strangeness was a brainy set of tightly wound guitar pop tunes. Their follow-up release, Welcome, All That's Difficult, finds them loosening up and branching out ever so slightly.

Houseguest's 2006 album High Strangeness was a brainy set of tightly wound guitar pop tunes. Their follow-up release, Welcome, All That's Difficult, finds them loosening up and branching out ever so slightly.

Album opener "Iron Oar" is one of several classic Houseguest songs sprinkled throughout the record. But they've also begun playing with new sounds and dynamics, often forgoing their trademark neurotic tension in favor of a chilled-out vibe.

The change isn't as extreme as singer Ted Mallison's shift from close-cropped head to long curly locks, but it's noticeable enough to suggest a band mellowing ever so slightly with age.

That's not to say you should expect to see them sitting in chairs or busting out acoustic guitars next Thursday at Rumba. The Lindsay and Za's Pawn Shop will play too.