Open to the Hound just released their long-awaited EP titled, Way of the Critter on Friday, and celebrated by throwing a kickass release party at Denver’s Syntax: Physic Opera. The seven-song EP consists of both lyrical and instrumental pieces, each pulling you through various segments of the universe.
Their performance was bookended by fellow Denver indie rock groups Tyto Alba and Blanket Empire. It was my first experience at Syntax, and the venue could not have been more perfect for Open to the Hound’s vibe. The red lighting fed into the mysterious nature of the night, and the walls were covered with paintings of oddities such as hipster pigeons and pregnant Power Rangers. Everything about this venue, right down to the penny mosaic bathroom floors, grabs your attention, just like Open to the Hound.
I had a chance to listen to Way of the Critter in its entirety prior to attending the show, but listening to the music live was a totally different experience. Their instrumental songs, each of which harness the spirit of the elements: (water), (air), (fire), and (earth), took on very different forms, completely washing over me.
At times I felt entranced, allowing myself to be led into the multiverse. But just as I began to be comfortable in this mode, they pulled me away from the hole and unleashed the wild beast in the form of heavier grunge improvisations.
Listen to Way of the Critter:
With everyone dancing in unison, Open to the Hound’s music truly brought the audience together, and even the multi-colored lights above seemed to be rushing toward the stage. The group played fan favorites such as “Family Name” and “Liquid Lady,” which was particularly special, seeing as the Liquid Lady herself, Gioja Antonette, was present, front row, guiding us all into singularity with her dance moves.
The stage seemed to be form-fitted to the group, a perfect shell for their unique spirits to shine for us. They encored with “Big Deal”, which almost everyone was singing along to, making it the perfect close for a fantastic transformation of a performance.
After the show, everyone mingled and enjoyed delicious cocktails, such as the exclusive “Liquid Lady” served in honor of the group. The mixture of Open to the Hound’s music, great company, and a unique venue with delicious drinks made this release party a sweet, trippy delight.