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For their latest album, the five members of Papadosio — a progressive jam band known for its extended improvisations — issued themselves a challenge: Embrace consolidation for once.

"It was like, 'What is it like to cut the fat?' Let's see what comes out of it," lead singer and guitarist Anthony Thogmartin said in a phone conversation from the road last week. "I don't think we're ever really going to do something like that again, but we were able to accomplish what we set out to do."

The result is the Asheville, N.C.-via-Ohio group's fourth album, October's "Extras in a Movie." Purposefully lean, the record finds Papadosio — which headlines Baltimore Soundstage on Saturday — exchanging its usual free-flowing jam sections for conciseness.

"We stripped it down to the verse and a chorus," Thogmartin, 31, said. "It's hard to complete an idea in under five minutes for us because we are a progressive band. … We borrow from the worlds of Yes and Pink Floyd — 20 riffs a song. There were definitely situations [in the studio] where we were like, 'This is just going on too long.'"

For Papadosio, it was time to try something new for its own sake. The independent band — which also includes Mike Healy (drums), Rob McConnell (bass, vocals), Billy Brouse (keyboards, synthesizers, vocals) and Sam Brouse (keyboards, guitar, vocals) — formed in 2006, and released its debut album, "Magreenery," the next year. The follow-up, "Observations," came in 2009 as touring opportunities steadily increased.

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