Attila & All That Remains Brought Heavy Hits & a Wall of Death to Recent Denver Show

By: Nathan Sheppard

All That Remains and Attila hit the stage at the Oriental Theatre this past week for a night that every metalhead could appreciate. Sleep Signals and Escape the Fate opened things up for the co-headliners.

Attila, who released their newest album Villian in February, took the show to the next level with their party animal antics. Those antics led to a love-hate relationship with most people, but for those who love them, Attila puts on one of the best live performances of any band in their sphere. From start to finish, frontman Chris Fronzak had the crowd moshing and and even threw in a “wall of death” just for kicks. The set was filled with mostly favorites like “Moshpit” and “Pizza” with some new songs from their latest album as well.

All That Remains was the second headliner of the night and continued the mosh party right where it left off. ATR released their ninth studio album Victim of the New Disease this past November which has been a welcome return to their roots as a heavy metalcore band. The first quarter of their set was heavy, with newer songs from New Disease, followed with a medley of older hits. Vocalist Phil Labonte was able to show off a wide vocal range from high screams to low growls, and even showcased his clean vocals in “What if I Was Nothing?”. They topped off the night with their smash hit single “Two Weeks”, leaving everyone exhausted from moshing and jumping throughout the set.

Attila and All That Remains are about halfway through their American co-headlining tour, so make sure you make it out to one of these insane shows! Remaining dates can be found here.

-Nathan

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Backseat Vinyl Talk To Us About Flipping Their Sound & What's In Their Name

By: Nathan Sheppard

Backseat Vinyl are a two-piece outfit made up of Nate Fuller (guitar) and Keenan Clarke (drums) who are paving their way into Denver’s music scene with their unique sound. The band was originally a metal/punk act four years ago when the duo started the band as a side project. But shortly after, the guys did a 180 and flipped their sound.  

Backseat Vinyl.

Backseat Vinyl.

“We initially started out with a very 90s grunge sound, but after getting tired of it, we began to evolve into a more indie style and have been perfecting the craft since,” says Keenan.

Although they changed up their style, you can still hear punk crafts in their music, especially with the drums on their newest single “Swing On By,” and with the guitar riffs in “Greaser.”

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When asked about their musical influences, the band names Nirvana, Vampire Weekend, Wavves, The Frights, and Hippo Campus. And when it comes to songwriting, Nate said that he “just uses everyday experiences and how they affect you and make you feel” as inspiration. This style gives them a very raw feel that people are able to relate to easily, and the duo’s fun-loving and carefree attitude is a breath of fresh air in a scene where some bands can take themselves too seriously. This demeanor was most evident when I asked about the backstory of the band’s name.

“When brainstorming a new band name on the drive back home from a studio session, Nate and I were in mutual agreement that we wanted the first part of the name to be ‘Backseat’ because I always had a plethora of trash in the backseat of my car. We combined it with ‘Vinyl’ when trying to think of words that paired well together and rolled off the tongue.”  said Keenan.

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The duo was recently featured on Channel 93.3’s locals-only show, which in Keenan’s words, “was a cool experience… hearing that other people listened [to us] on the radio and to get that kind of exposure is great.” Backseat Vinyl also played the Moon Room this month, one of their biggest shows to date, opening for New Jersey band Prawn. The guys have four singles on Bandcamp with an an album in the works, and have some studio time planned later in the year. In the meantime, you can catch Backseat Vinyl March 23rd at Streets of London Pub with Sadgirl and Bruiser Queen. Tickets here.

Nate and Keenan have a great musical chemistry with one another to create songs that you can just jam out to. Keep up with the band here.

-Nathan

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Starset Struggled Through Technical Difficulties At Recent Denver Show

By: Nathan Sheppard

Starset’s show in Denver last Friday hit a few snags with delays and technical difficulties, but pushed through to have the best show possible. The sold-out show at Summit Music Hall started out on the right foot with a line stretched around the block for the cinematic rock band with a line just as long at the merch table inside.

People went wild during Palisades.

People went wild during Palisades.

New York band Year of the Locust took the the first and put on a solid set highlighted by fan interaction and a sing-along to their single “Sunrise.” EDM up and comer Grabbitz then provided a change of pace to the show with “My Cloud” and a song by Deadmau5 call “Let Go,” which the two collaborated on. While the crowd bobbed their heads along, there seemed to be a lack of expected energy in the building- it just didn't seem to be the right kind of crowd for electronic tunes. Things picked back up with post-hardcore band Palisades, who provided a much needed energy boost complete with a couple of circle pits. The band had everyone singing along to the fan favorites “Better Chemicals” and “Let Down” and really shined as one of the best performances of the night.

Things took a more frustrating turn getting ready for Starset. The band was supposed to start around 9:30PM when the house light dimmed, but were met with the crew working on the projector setup for about 45 minutes until they finally got in to work... for the most part. The guys took the stage and started what was a very entertaining show, but unfortunately mid-way through the third song, their video once again went out. Fans were met with another long wait while they tried to fix the system again. It wasn’t until almost midnight when the band finally gave up on the video and decided to just go with their light show sans visuals. At this point though, about a third of the sold-out crowd had left disappointed. The people that did stay, however, were treated to a quality show that ended around 1AM.

Starset.

Starset.

The frustrated crew and band were able to salvage what they could of the night, but left many underwhelmed by the entire experience. We can only hope that all of the band’s technical difficulties are worked out before their next journey through space and time back to Denver. The rest of Starset’s tour dates can be found here.

-Nathan

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Neck Deep & Other UK Bands Are Currently On One Epic Pop-Punk Tour

By: Nathan Sheppard

This past Friday, Neck Deep rocked the Ogden Theatre with an electric performance that was one to remember. The night also featured Speak Low If You Speak Love, Creeper, and Seaway, giving the entire night all of the elements of an epic pop-punk show.

Seaway.

Seaway.

Speak Low opened the evening and did not disappoint for those who came early. The alternative band blended together just the right amount of power chords and acoustic guitar for a stellar opening set. Fellow UK band Creeper was next up and had their “Creeper Cult” singing and dancing to every song along the way. Creeper delivered their signature goth punk style while warming up the audience for a night of crowdsurfing and circle pits. Seaway (a.k.a SeaBoiz) was next and hyped the crowd for Neck Deep.

After creating a following with their album Life’s Not Out To Get You, Neck Deep released their third album, The Peace and the Panic! last year. From the very first note of “Happy Judgement Day,” the crowd went wild and immediately started a theatre-wide sing-a-long. The crowd erupted into screams and cheers for each song, but especially fan favorites like “Kali Ma” and “December.” Neck Deep slowed it down a bit in the middle of their set with a couple of acoustic songs so that everyone could catch their breath, and singer Ben Barlow talked about losing his father and why music is therapy. The band ended the show with the banger “Where Do We Go When We Go.”

Neck Deep.

Neck Deep.

If you haven't had the chance to see Neck Deep live, check out the remaining dates of the tour and their newest album The Peace and the Panic! here.   

-Nathan

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Anti-Flag Bring Together Local Artists & Organizations For Punk Against Trump at Denver's Summit Music Hall

By: Nathan Sheppard

Anti-Flag’s Silence=Violence Tour is making its stop in Denver January 20th at Summit Music Hall, and will feature ten bands for a Punk Against Trump event including Stray From The Path, The White Noise, Sharptooth, Line Brawl, Over Time, Cheap Perfume, Allout Helter, The New Narrative, and Rotten Reputation.

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Anti-Flag is known for being very outspoken on a number of political and human rights issues. For this show in particular, they are teaming up for a fundraiser for Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. For each ticket sold, $2.00 will go to the coalition. Anti-Flag are also bringing along friends from peta2, A Voice For The Innocent, Love Hope Strength, and Amnesty International USA for the length of their entire tour.

Anti-Flag.

Anti-Flag.

Anti-Flag are currently traveling in support of American Fall, their tenth studio record released last November. American Fall is a hard hitting rebuke of many controversial events that occurred in 2017, with tracks like “American Attraction” and “Racists.” We are sure to get a good mixture of classic Anti-Flag and some of their newer sound at this Punk Against Trump show.

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Doors are at 3PM this Saturday, so be sure to arrive early and check out all of the opening bands and organizations who are sure to make this event feel like a festival-like sort of day. You can find tickets for the Punk Against Trump event here and find other dates for Anti-Flag’s tour at their website.

-Nathan

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Rain In July Rocked Their Moon Room Set From Start To Finish

By: Nathan Sheppard

While it was a chilly Tuesday outside, inside The Moon Room at Summit Music Hall, everyone kept warm while enjoying some excellent tunes. For what was arguably one of their best shows of the year, In My Room kicked things off with a bang. Their raw and edgy sound can be compared to Movements, loud and fast.

Coldfront.

Coldfront.

Next was Coldfront, hailing from Ontario, Canada, who put on a solid show with their energetic and upbeat style of pop-punk. They recently released a new album called Float Around that you can check out here. Hot Mulligan, who are on tour with Coldfront, followed with their angsty punk rock, and had the crowd singing along with them.

If I Fail took control of the stage next and showed why they are one of Colorado’s best pop-punk bands. Their infectious riffs had the audience on their feet and the band’s introspective lyrics gave our inner emo kid all the feels.

Rain In July.

Rain In July.

Rain In July was the final band to take the stage, and rocked it from start to finish. RIJ put on a lively show that had the crowd hyped and off their feet. Once everyone was singing along to their songs, they even threw in a cover of “Bodybag” by Hit The Lights. RIJ finished off their set with a fan favorite “Breathe” and a special guest appearance from Andrew Elofson from 1000 Miles of Fire, which was the perfect way to cap an epic show. The guys proved why they are one of Colorado’s best up and coming bands with a very bright future. You can check out their latest EP “Trying To Breathe” on Spotify.

Keep up with Rain In July here and check out the full gallery from this show for more photo madness.

-Nathan

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Front Bottoms' Fans Sing Louder Than Yours

By: Benjamin Tillis

On Tuesday, November 7th, New Jersey-based indie rock band The Front Bottoms headlined a packed show at The Wiltern Theatre located in Koreatown, Los Angeles. The band released its sixth studio album Going Grey mid-October, so fans were excited to hear the new songs live. Just as expected, the band began its set with the new album’s opener “Used to Say (Holy Fuck)”. And from there the band played a full 21-song set, a majority of the tracks from the newest release and their 2013 Talon Of The Hawk.

The Front Bottoms.

The Front Bottoms.

Most concerts host a core group of day-one-fans who know most songs, and usually the entire crowd sings the one with the most radio play, but this show was in its own league: no audience member missed a single word. It makes sense though, considering TFB’s most unique draw are its witty and emotional lyrics and lead singer Brian Sella's unique voice that enunciated every syllable. It was clear that the audience truly connected to these songs that they belted out. And it is no coincidence that The Front Bottoms are signed to Fueled By Ramen, the same label as Twenty One Pilots, who also have passionate fans.

The Front Bottoms at The Wiltern. Photo per the author.

The Front Bottoms at The Wiltern. Photo per the author.

The way fans connected to these songs was also interesting. The Front Bottoms definitely does not hold back with its often depressing and dysfunctional imagery in its songs. For example, during the show, Sella proclaimed that the next song was about “drowning someone you’ve been in love with for a really long time.” The songs are sad, but playful, and it’s clear the band doesn’t take itself too seriously. This leads to a close-knit community in the crowd, who smiled and sang to each other, proving that these sad songs are about moving on and improving, not harping on the past.

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Very grateful to its fans, Sella thanked The Wiltern concertgoers multiple times for coming out the the show. Most entertaining was their final encore. Throughout the show, an excited and impatient fan kept yelling for TFB to play “Ocean,” Going Grey’s closing track. At one point Sella even addressed her and assured her that they would play the song at some point. Sure enough, for its encore the band invited the same girl to sit on a couch onstage with the band as Sella played an acoustic version of her requested song. Needless to say, she lost it on stage when she wasn’t taking selfies with the band. It was great to see the group turn a nagging fan, an element that is often an annoying aspect of playing a live show, into a really fun and entertaining situation. Overall it was a great performance and a show that you shouldn’t miss. If you’re not a fan now, you will be after seeing them live.

Catch The Front Bottoms as they continue on tour here.

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Gasoline Lollipops Brought A Storm Of Sound To Debut Red Rocks Performance

By: Hannah Oreskovich

There's a certain feeling of pride you get when you see local artists accomplish something big, like when The Yawpers were signed with Bloodshot Records or when Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats got their first Jimmy Fallon gig and blasted into the international spotlight. This week, that same heartwarming feeling was much aglow as fans watched Colorado’s Gasoline Lollipops take the stage at the state’s best, Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Clay Rose.

Clay Rose.

The GasPops, as the band is more affectionately known to fans, first started back in 2009. Founding and original member Clay Rose, who is also the project’s frontman, grew up between Boulder & Nashville’s music markets. Piecing together sounds from each city’s scene, along with other influences, GasPops music combines punk, alternative, folk, country, and rock’n’roll. The Boulder band have been called everything from gypsy punk to “dirt floor folk” and played just about every venue in the state to date over the last six years.

Except for The Rocks. And that's why Monday’s show was just so special.

As the opening entertainment for the film Twister, the last “Film On The Rocks” of the summer for Denver Film Society’s series, Gasoline Lollipops brought a real storm of sound to the stage. There was a boot-stompin’ thunder of drums and standup bass (courtesy of Adam Perry and Brad Morse respectively), tempestuous, warm crackles of sound from Rose’s harmonica mic and Jeb Bows’ (Gregory Alan Isakov) violin solos, and a whirlwind of tight, raining vocal harmonies between Alexandra Schwan and Rose. Donny Ambory’s electric guitar playing also added a swirl of heated rebelliousness to the mix, an element the Gasoline Lollipops are well-known to evoke in their live shows.

GasPops on the Rocks.

GasPops on the Rocks.

The band opened their hour set with “Smoke and Steam” and played songs from several of their records, including “Death,” “Longest Night,” “Love Is Free,” “The Wire,” and “White Trash.” The six-piece also introduced us to some new tunes from their upcoming record Soul Mine, “Leaving Alone” and “Burns.” And the crowd, who sat for the film, were on their feet for the entirety of the GasPops’ set. There were hollers, cheers, and a lot of dancing happening between the night’s glowing rocks, which seem to be common sights and sounds at the punk rock hoedown that is a Gasoline Lollipops show.

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Overall, Gasoline Lollipops played a very Red Rocks-worthy performance for their debut at the venue. After the show, several crowd members voiced that they hoped for a GasPops storm to hit the rocks again next year. I'm hoping for it too but until then, catch them at the Fox Theatre this December for their Soul Mine vinyl release show, or drop everything and roll with them on their upcoming overseas tour this fall, where the GasPops storm of sound will be raging on.

Keep up with Gasoline Lollipops here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The UMS Set The Tone For A Great 2017 Festival With Recent Fox Theatre Show

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s Underground Music Showcase recently brought three great Colorado acts together for one rocking show at Boulder’s Fox Theatre in celebration of the upcoming festival, which takes place this July 27th-30th.  

Ned Garthe Explosion.

Ned Garthe Explosion.

Party-hardy Ned Garthe Explosion kicked off the night, a Denver four-piece known for their garage rock anthems and good times. Though the night started with a smaller crowd, NGE kicked up the energy and commenced to get down by making fun of each other onstage, sipping Coronas, and rocking out. Frontman Ned Garthe told us the story of how he once spray painted his name on the side of a police station, only to be immediately caught, lending more credibility to the crazy punk antics of this band. They closed out their set with their popular “Forgot Your Name,” and by that point, a solid crowd had settled in and was singing along. 

The Velveteers.

The Velveteers.

Boulder’s The Velveteers took the stage next, with Noah Shomberg (The Yawpers) and John Demitro (The Bandits) on drums accompanying guitar prowess and vocalist Demi Demitro. It was the band’s first Fox Theatre show in their hometown, and they once again proved live why they are one of Colorado’s fastest rising acts in rock’n’roll. Demi’s vocals are gentle and melodic at times, and whipped with raw attitude and grunge at others. All the while, she slays on guitar, and it’s here I’d like to point out an observation I had checking out this set: The entire first two rows near the stage were comprised of headbanging dudes. Now that’s what I call rock’n’roll.

Demi Demitro.

Demi Demitro.

Demi has harnessed her artistry in every aspect of her show- from her writing, to her commanding stage presence, to her skilled instrumental abilities. She’s hypnotizing to watch and she’s talented. With continued grind, this is a Colorado act I see going national.

Flaural.

Flaural.

Denver’s Flaural closed out the night with a drippy shoegaze psych show. The four-piece started their set with groovy instrumentals and very little vocals. They played several tracks from their recent release, Over Imaginary Cigarettes, and a few older tunes as well. Formed in 2015, this band has already done a lot of national touring and had some notable festival appearances, so it was exciting to have them back in state for a show. They kept things very poppy and psychedelic, keeping the crowd swaying before it was time for many to jump on the Bus to Show back down to Denver and the remaining Boulderites to wander home. 

The night definitely set the tone for a great UMS this year, so make sure to grab passes while they’re still cheap here!

ICYMI: Check out our full photo gallery from this show!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Decatur Unleashed Their Dynamic Debut EP at The Walnut Room

By: Jura Daubenspeck

 Last Friday, June 9th, Denver’s Walnut Room was filled with a plethora of drinks, tasty pizza, and a unique lineup of music. The energy was high, and people were movin’ and groovin’ in any way they knew how. The evening celebrated the release of Decatur ’s debut EP, Before The Bulb’s album, and Whimsically Macabre Music’s general impressiveness.  

Stacy Fahrion.

Stacy Fahrion.

Stacy Fahrion of Whimsically Macabre Music took to the stage first, blowing everyone away with her lightning fast piano compositions and unusual twists to well-known nursery rhymes. Starting off the evening with dark and edgy alt-classical music was as fitting as it was eye-opening.

Colorado’s experimental alternative rock group Decatur took to the stage second, and gave a performance that was dynamic and exciting. The five-piece band, consisting of Sean Decrescenzo (frontman/guitar), Tay Hamilton (lead guitar/backing vocals), Quinn Cox (lead studio engineer/backing vocals/guitar/keys), Chris Howard (drums/backing vocals), and Chris Rybitski (bass) were clearly feeling good, as this performance honored the release of their debut, self-titled EP.  

Decatur’s newest EP has a brooding, edgy feel to it, yet the band delivered the music in a way that was clear they were having a great time. Decrescenzo’s moody lead vocals were well-suited for songs such as “Don’t Talk,” “Cold,” and “New Way To Love,” and were paired perfectly with Hamilton’s electrifying guitar-work. The band also played a previous single of theirs, “My Desire,” which absolutely got the crowd up and moving, if they weren’t already.  

Decatur is proving themselves to be a band to look out for, as they’ve already attracted the attention of award-winning producers such as Lance Bendiksen. Their raw, atmospheric energy and fine-tuned attention to detail leaves listeners wanting more even after they’ve left the stage. They also manage to pull off looking generally cool, without the inflated egos. Their EP is available to stream and download.  

Before the Bulb.

Before the Bulb.

Before the Bulb closed out the night with a vibe that was quite different than the previous performers, but still kept the tempo high. The six-piece band, which blended violin, piano, upright bass, drums, and guitar, came together to create the sounds of “gypsy-rock-bluegrass-punk.” It was a stellar combination, to say the least. The band was also celebrating their release of their album, “Opera in the Whale” which is available now.

Overall, the evening catered to many different musical palates, ranging from dark horse indie-classical sounds of Whimsical Macabre Music, to Decatur’s experimental/atmospheric rock, to, as Before the Bulb puts it, “some form of rock.” It was an exquisite evening filled with talented musicians celebrating their months of hard work.

Be sure to check out Decatur’s newest EP (free to download!) on their website, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and iTunes. And don’t be shy- connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the conversation going!

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. 

Bad Suns Set To 'Disappear Here' At Boulder Theater This Week (06/14)

Formed in 2012, California’s Bad Suns is comprised of Christo Bowman (vocals), Gavin Bennett (bass), Miles “Morris” Kottak (drums), and Ray Libby (guitar). The four-piece picked up major mainstream steam just a year after coming together with the release of their rock post-punk hit “Cardiac Arrest,” which propelled the band into recording their first full-length album Language & Perspective in 2014 with Vagrant Records. The group then released their next hit, “Salt,” toured with The 1975, played Coachella in 2015, and just last year, released their sophomore record, Disappear Here.

Bad Suns.

Bad Suns.

Said Bowman about the band’s indie and post-punk sounds, “I grew up with a lot of world music playing in the house. When I was 10, I started getting heavily interested in the guitar, and my dad began introducing me to his records from the 70s and the 80s. Initially Elvis Costello, then to The Clash, The Cure, and so on…”

It makes sense then that the band’s newest record has alt rock, pop, indie, dreamwave, and post-punk vibes. The record’s title track, “Disappear Here” has catchy 80s guitar riffs coupled with Bowman’s poppy chorus lines and melodic new wave synth sounds.

Listen to Disappear Here:

Alternative Press called Disappear Here an “experimental jams with new readings of synthesizers and guitar effects reminiscent of British-born New Romantic acts such as Duran Duran and Depeche Mode.”

Fresh off their recent Bonnaroo appearance, Bad Suns hit The Boulder Theater this Wednesday, June 14th for a sold-out show. Make sure to catch a glimpse of these LA rockers before they disappear back on the road for the rest of 2017. Keep up with Bad Suns on Facebook. We’ll see you there! 

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Pop & Punk Took Over Hodi's Half Note This Past Weekend

By: Matti Earley 

Though The Solid Ocean aren’t originally from Denver, they now reside here and got inspiration for their namesake from the Rocky Mountains. At Hodi's Half Note on June 9th, they more than lived up to their declaration of being a “power pop” group.  

Freaking Out” was The Solid Ocean’s breakout hit of the evening, and also their most recent release. It opens with summery, undeniably happy instrumentals that contrast with its more uncertain sounding lyrics. This comes as a reflection of their creative process, which coincides with “trying to make their way through life as young adults in a crazy world.”

Silent Rival took the stage next, and cranked up the volume several notches with their set. “Die A Little” opened the rest of their recently released debut record, The Kindness of Strangers.  The track carries a powerful mantra, indicative of a consistent theme throughout the rest of the record. The music from one song to another, however, was enjoyably less predictable. “Freedom” carries hints of country with prominent harmonies sans twangy guitars. Conversely, “The Only God Is In The Wild” is structured around a much more poppy, bubbling riff. Bassist Yutaka Sao and frontwoman Sara Coda commanded attention effortlessly. Even on a small stage, they performed with enough energy to entertain a much larger crowd. 

Night Riots.

Night Riots.

Before going onstage, Night Riots filled Hodi’s with a magnetic energy. An overhead buzz preceded their arrival, mirroring the anticipation that built up during the previous openers. They emerged from a curtain of fog with a confidence that could fill much larger venues, fresh off of a tour opening for Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness with Atlas Genius.

The close atmosphere amplified and endeared their performance idiosyncrasies. After their opening song “All For You,” the audience was polled to see how many people had seen them at The Black Sheep in Colorado Springs the day before. Dozens of audiences members shouted their happy reply. Outside their own discography, Night Riots covered “Billie Jean” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”  

Night Riots.

Night Riots.

The latter provided a perfect transition into their darker underlying sound. While Night Riots rooted in punk, pop is also a consistent descriptor. Various adjectives such as “gloomy” and “gothic” have also been attached to their sound, and Love Gloom is actually the title of their newest album. Those two words encapsulate what was the essence of their show; a juxtaposition. Lyrics outlining grief and adversity were punctuated with lighter notes of glowing pumpkin props and light up drumsticks.

After the show, all members stayed to talk to fans, sign merchandise, and take pictures, with a long trip back to California ahead of them. After a brief break, they will be with All Time Low for two Houston dates on June 30th and July 1st. Their next string of shows will be all the way across the Atlantic starting September 10th, in support of The Maine, along with The Technicolors. Keep up with band here

-Matti

All photos per the author. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Ireland's Empty Lungs Drop New Indie Grunge Rock EP, 'Don't Get It'

By: Trevor Ryan

Empty Lungs recently released their third EP Don't Get It on Hidden Pony Records, and it will undoubtedly leave you wanting so much more from the trio if you get down with indie grunge vibes. Fronted by Matt Carson, the three-piece utilizes classic and new age elements meshed together to produce one insane gem.

Wasting absolutely no time getting you to their sweet sounds on Don't Get It, the three track project confidently throws you into their fresh, original, and upbeat sound from the start. With every track nearly borderlining ballad territory, Don’t Get It will dwell on your mind for days with its immensely catchy hooks and adrenaline pumping breakdowns.

Check out Don't Get It:

The band, who are based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, have quite the following overseas and online. But what makes this project so unique is the contentment you will get from the record as a whole. You can legitimately feel the raw effort put into each track, and are only left wanting more of their refreshingly distorted sound.

Watch Empty Lungs’ video for “Losing It. FInding It.”:

Be sure to keep up with Empty Lungs on their Facebook; follow their current tour here.

-Trevor

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Empress' Industrial Post-Punk Record 'Ink' Is Buzzy DIY

By: Jesse Sandoval

As the semester comes to a close, a buzz is in the air. Most of us, I imagine, are bristling with the months-long amount of pent up energy that wintertime often leaves us with. We’re biding our time, tending to the last of our stifling inside-duties ‘til that special time of release: summertime, summertime, summertime! And what better music to accommodate these feelings than Empress' most recent release, Ink?

Listen to Ink:

Ink is fun. It’s catchy, it's melodic, it’s earnest, it's punk. Over the span of four years, Empress have been honing their own style of industrial/post-punk and with this release, the Denver-based band has proven they have come into their own. Their DIY approach has led them to a state of self-sufficiency that I am sure many bands pine for. Members Santiago (vocals/percussion), Xavier (bass/rhythm guitar), and Alex (lead guitar/bass) all live together and record everything in their house. This allows them to record at any moment of inspiration and, from what I’m told, them doing just this is not uncommon. Several of the tracks on Ink are likely products of some band member’s sleep being interrupted in order to capture a moment’s inspiration before it’s lost in deep dreams…

Empress.

Empress.

The music on Ink is completely enjoyable because of how straight-cut and organic it is. Empress don’t try to be anything they’re not, and don’t try to affect any sound that isn’t true: they do what they do and that’s it. Their music is strong because of it’s simplicity, and ultimately, it works because it accurately conveys some of the most basic feelings we all share: feelings of longing, of unrequited love, of disconnectedness, of humanity.

As Empress have developed their musical abilities, they’ve also taught themselves to mix their own music (I’m a sucker for DIY) and the progress they’ve made in their last four years is very impressive. In the time since they cut Ink, they have actually been working on some new tracks and were kind enough to share some of those with me too. It’s clear that they are expanding and breaking their own molds, and I can see that there will be more to look forward to from Empress. Unfortunately, we will not be able to witness their long-term growth first-hand because come May, they will be moving to LA to shake up what they can there.

Good news is, on Saturday, May 6th they will be playing a show to celebrate their departure at Seventh Circle Music CollectiveThe Beeves, Meeting House, and others will share the stage. So go give Empress a warm Colorado farewell, and keep up with up with the trio after their move here.

RIYL: Joy Division, New Order, Wipers, The Cure, NIN

-Jesse

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Thrash Vibes, Garage Rock, & Green Things- Oh MY!

By: Trevor Ryan

Last weekend, I found myself once more at the University of Colorado’s Memorial Center attending another incredible show put on by Club 156. The vibe was familiar, only this time, an almost hardcore energy filled the room. It was very hype-y; the sound crew seems especially stoked for the coming show. I arrived early, and a few fans already lined the walls of the intimate venue; a small room hosting a quaint stage bursting with grungy potential.

Listen to Loretta Kill’s “Too Cool For You”:

First onstage was Loretta Kill. With a very garage rock sound, the trio utilized heavy distortion accompanied by growling vocals. Theirs is not always an easy sound to master in a small room, but Loretta Kill definitely killed it. They emit a bit of that nostalgia you had listening to Nirvana in your youth, combined with experimental gestures and a “too cool” attitude that is somehow instantly appealing.

Princess Declaw. 

Princess Declaw. 

Next up was Princess Dewclaw. An act that I will not soon forget, this five-piece held absolutely nothing back. The first thing to hit you was lead vocalist Amanda G.’s pipes. The self proclaimed “no wave trash pop” frontwoman gave literally everything she had with ear shattering wails, followed by abrupt near-whispers. And the whole time, she rolled her eyes excessively, apathetic in stature, and in an almost character-like way. Meanwhile, behind her, the band used intricate synth work and some sick rhythm to really make it all POP!

The Beeves.

The Beeves.

Following them, the show’s headliner appeared: The Beeves. This trio is an insanely tight act in their appearance and their sound. Their glances to one another while playing had me wondering what move they’d make next; that unspoken language that keeps everything flowing in a good set. But just as you’re distracted by their tight playing, that’s when it enters: The Green… Thing. A mascot of of sorts parades around the stage, holding a seemingly pointless purpose, until you realize how pumped you become watching him. You want to dance; you want to mosh and The Beeves will get you to do it with classic ska elements set to a hard rock theme and a punk/thrash vibe. Move.

Listen to The Beeves’ self-titled EP:

Once again, Club 156 put on a fantastic show. You'll go for the people; you'll stay for the friggin’ insanity! Keep up with their upcoming events here.

-Trevor

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Dig the Rockin' Pop-Punk Vibes of Joshua James Hunt's 'Open the Door'

By: Jura Daubenspeck

For anyone that digs blast from the past alternative pop punk-ish vibes, Boulder’s Joshua James Hunt has just what you need. His latest release Open the Door is full of head-bopping energy that is catchy as ever.

Since February, Hunt has gradually teased each track from the album, giving them their own chance to shine individually. Tracks such as “Summertime Song” have a nostalgic quality, reminiscent of more innocent beachtime hangs, while others such like “Come On” and “War Is Not The Answer” have an edgier quality to them.

Listening to Hunt’s latest album, I hear hints of influences ranging from Green Day, to Jimmy Eat World, to Rooney. Lyrically, Hunt keeps it nice and simple, letting his smooth vocal style speak for itself. What I also appreciate about this album is how no two songs sound the same. Tracks like “You’re a Citizen” feature more playful and hard-hitting guitar work, while others like “Just A Matter of Time” focus more on power chord progressions.

One track I’m particularly feeling is “Check the Breaker” - it holds its own with a powerful rockin’ melody, and is also pretty sweet, lyrically-speaking:

It was a quarter life crisis

He didn't make it through

Put a bullet in his life

And made a mess of you

Whatever happened

I know it wasn't your fault

He aimed for his head

But he shot you in the heart

Hunt still has yet to release the last two songs on Open the Door. So be on the lookout for the final two tracks, “Beautiful Dream” (3/31) and “Ceasefire” (4/7). Give his tunes a listen on his Soundcloud, YouTube and Hunt’s website. Check out his Facebook page for upcoming announcements.

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Like a Tornado of Sound and Light, Sleigh Bells Tore Up Denver

By: Sierra Voss

Sleigh Bells ripped through Denver, CO's Gothic Theatre Friday night like a tornado of sound and light. The intense mixture of punk, rock, and pop seemed to captivate the audience, who made way for mosh pits and crowd surfing mid-show. And frontwoman Alexis Krauss basically ravaged the stage in her glory. She had concert-goers hypnotized with her dance moves and jumped onto the pit’s guardrail singing songs that span Sleigh Bells’ seven-year discography.     

The duo, comprised of guitarist Derek Miller and singer Alexis Krauss released their first album, Treats as Sleigh Bells in 2010. In the following three years, the band took hold of their moments to shine and pushed two additional albums. Their most recent album, Jessica Rabbit, came out three years after their 2013 album, Bitter Rivals. The three year gap seemed to give the band time to redefine their sound and take more risk, which they’ve arguably nailed on this new record. Songs from Jessica Rabbit also break from Bitter Rivals in that they allow Krauss to explore and showcase her vocal range with raw, intense melody lines in front of a collage of sound.

Alexis Krauss. 

Alexis Krauss. 

Opening the door for Alexis Krauss to run free and drop into a deeper level of her artistry was the right choice for Sleigh Bells on Jessica Rabbit, and the energy at their Denver show proved it. Like a slap on the face with life gets you numb, Sleigh Bells breathed life into their crowd. Krauss holds her spot on my top badass lady artists list, and the pictures prove it. 

Check out their recent music video for song, “It’s Just Us Now” from Jessica Rabbit:

-Sierra

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.  

Colorado Music Festivals 2017: Your Official Guide To All The Goodness

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Festival season is arguably the best time of year in music. So here at BolderBeat, we’ll be updating this feature with every Colorado festival announcement that comes our way. Stay as on the pulse as we are.


FoCoMX- April 28th-29th

Fort Collins' premiere music festival has announced its lineup, which features hundreds of Colorado artists. Some of our favorites include Antonio Lopez, The Alcapones, BANDITS, Bethel Steele, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Edison, Foxfeather, Gasoline Lollipops, and The Velveteers. Full lineup here


Spread The Word Music Festival- May 5th-8th

Taking place at several Denver and Boulder venues, Spread The Word features a mix of local and national artists with styles including rock, jam, funk, reggae, hip-hop, folk/grass, electronic and fusion. Headliners of this year's fest include Kyle Hollingsworth Band, Euforquestra, A-Mac and the Hight, & Analog Sun. Full lineup on our announcement link.


Denver’s Project Pabst- May 20th

“Project Pabst was a wild success,” contributor Zach Dahmen wrote in retrospect of the 2016 festival that took over Denver’s Larimer Street last year. This year, the PBR-fueled lineup includes Ice Cube, Phantogram, Danny Brown, Kurt Vile, STRFKR, No Name, & more. We’re pumped for this. Details here


Greeley Blues Jam- June 9th-10th

The Greeley Blues Jam seeks to keep the blues alive, and this year, they’re doing just that with a lineup including Walter Trout, Samantha Fish, Honey Island Swamp Band, and Colorado favorite The Burroughs. This is one weekend you’ll enjoy being blue. Full lineup on their website.


Taste of Fort Collins- June 9th-11th

The 21st annual Taste of Fort Collins includes headliners St. Lucia, Gin Blossoms, Plain White T's, & Waterloo Revival this year. Tickets are only $5-$10 and the fest is hosted at Civic Center Park in Old Towne. Get out and get down! More info on their website.


Country Jam- June 15th-18th

Grand Junction will host Country Jam’s 26th annual four-day fest this year. Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Thomas Rhett top the headliners list of the 30+ artists that will play to your boot kickin’ desire. Surrounded by the red rocks of GJ, this festival annually hosts some of the biggest names in country music, and clearly this year is no different. More info at this link.


Sonic Bloom Festival- June 15th-18th

If you like electronic music, there’s no better place to be than Colorado’s Sonic Bloom Festival. Happening at Hummingbird Ranch in Spanish Peaks Country, the weekend will feature performances from Gigantic Cheese Biscuits, The Polish Ambassador, The Floozies, and a huge array of electronic beatmasters. The festival will also feature yogis and movement leaders, as well as interpretive artists. And did we mention the visuals? Full lineup here.


Telluride Bluegrass Festival- June 15th-18th

Telluride Bluegrass Festival celebrates its 44th year this summer. Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Dierks Bentley with The Travelin' McCourys, and Brandi Carlile top the fest’s 2017 list. We can tell you from experience that last year was magical and we even met some our favorite musicians at (where else?) the Port-a-Potties. More info and tickets here.


Van’s Warped Tour- June 25th

Believe it or not, we attended this event back in 2015 after not having been since high school. Yes. Though much has changed since what was arguably Warped Tour’s heyday (moshing is now frowned upon), this is a fest that still has a cult following and still makes its way around the US. Attila, Bowling for Soup, CKY, & Futuristic top this year's bill- grab the full listing here.


Westword Music Showcase- June 25th

Denver’s alt weekly newspaper will host more than 100 live acts at their annual summer celebration this year. With Shakey Graves, The Revivalists, Cut Copy, Bob Moses, COIN, Arizona, and a long list of local acts, this will be one to clink a summer beer to and enjoy. Don’t miss out on Westword’s fantastic Friday night. Local artists should be announced soon; voting is open. More info on their website.


Central Rockies Old-Time Music Association (CROMA) Festival-

July 5th-9th

CROMA's 2017 festival at Parrish Ranch features a great old-time music lineup, workshops, nightly dances, open jams, classes for kids, open stage times, and couples dance workshops. Artists at this year's fest will include Eddie Bond and the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, The Ozark Highballers, Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller, and The Musky Dimes and Lansford and McAlister. Get full details and tickets here


The Ride Festival- July 8th-9th

Beck will headline The Ride Festival this year, another Telluride fest that is sure to get you groovin’. Ben Harper, Kaleo, The John Butler Trio, and Colorado favorite Rose Hill Drive will all keep your summer-chill vibes in check at this one. Full lineup here.


The Underground Music Showcase- July 27th-30th

One of our absolute favorite weekends of the summer is Denver’s The UMS due to its focus on local artists, and all the fun that comes along with wandering around the South Broadway venues hosting the three-day event. Benjamin Booker, Red Fang, & Esme Patterson are headlining this year, but we're more stoked on this massive list of local artists (a crazy amount of which we've covered in the last year). Get tickets here. More deets on our announcement link.


Rockygrass Festival- July 28th-30th

Bluegrass, bluegrass, and more bluegrass. That’s what Rockygrass in Lyons is all about! Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, The Del McCoury Band, and The Infamous Stringdusters are already confirmed for this year’s pickin’ celebration, so get your tickets now. More artists at this link.


ARISE Music Festival- August 4th-6th

Colorado’s ARISE is back for its fifth year at Loveland’s Sunrise Ranch, and features seven stages of live music, yoga, workshops, theme camps, art galleries & installations, a children’s village, speakers, and films! Some of the top billed artists for 2017 include Atmosphere, Tipper, and Ani Difranco. Get more details at our announcement link.


Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest- August 11th-13th

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is a FREE, recurring, three-day music festival held every August in the historic downtown of Fort Collins. CAKE has been announced as one of the headliners with more TBA- keep up with the full lineup here.


Velorama Colorado- August 11th-13th

Following the Colorado Classic bicycle race, Colorado’s newest festival Velorama will take place in Denver’s RiNo Neighborhood this summer. Wilco, Death Cab For Cutie, The New Pornographers, Saint Motel, and La Santa Cecilia are the bands announced so far, and you don’t have to bike in the race to partake in the party! Tickets for this new fest here.


Rocky Mountain Folks Festival- August 18th-20th

Last year, Rocky Mountain Folks Festival proved to be much more than a music festival. Bringing together local artists for songwriting workshops and more, the Lyons, CO fest created an awesome artistic community that still managed to showcase great national acts too. Gregory Alan Isakov, Lake Street Dive, and Rhiannon Giddens have already been announced for this year’s fest; full schedule and list of acts here.


Jazz Aspen Snowmass- September 1st-3rd

We don’t know how Maroon 5 is jazz, but they are headlining the JAS Labor Day Weekend festival this year. Colorado favorite Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, Lake Street Dive, and Keith Urban will also have performances at the Snowmass event. JAS has a smaller June event too, which will feature John Batiste & Stay Human, Michael McDonald, and Earth Wind & Fire. Details on both events here.


Telluride Blues & Brews Festival 

aerial_0077_0.jpg

Telluride Blues & Brews Fest has Bonnie Raitt, Steve Winwood, TajMo at the top of their bill this year. You can get your grand brew tasting on for three days with these artists and more, plus there is a lot of availability in ticket options, so you can schedule your own fest experience. Get more info here


Festivals of The Past

We'll miss you Vertex.

We'll miss you Vertex.

Wondering what happened to some of your other favorite Colorado festivals? Bass Center moved to New Jersey this year, Divide Music Festival has been postponed until 2018, Groove Festival’s web presence has been replaced by this Japanese site making us question everything, Mad Decent Block Party went to India (yes really), Riot Fest Denver will not return due to Sean McKeough's death, and Vertex (which we freakin’ loved) was sadly cancelled, but we’re praying it comes back to life with full zombie mayhem next year. Fingers crossed fellow festheads.


Make sure to keep up with our festival coverage all season on BolderBeat’s dedicated fest page!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Sting Like The Beeves

By: Pete Laffin

Honest question:

When was the last time you moshed?

It had been a while for yours truly. By my mid-twenties I abandoned the more aggressive music of my youth, swapping volume and distortion for lyrical poignancy and musical nuance. Like many in my station, I held my nose up at the blustery rage of the still-young youth (which, it occurs to me now, can be easily explained with basic psychological insight: my disapproval of the kids and their raucous music was displaced, and the real culprit was the lingering memory of my own immature youth.) Music, as important as ever at the ripe-old age of 33, became something to be meditated upon rather than moshed to. And that was fine and good and purposeful. (As you age, it becomes suddenly important to do “purposeful” things.)

And then, a few months ago, I went to the EP release for The Beeves, comprised of the Ehrhart brothers, Ian and Will, along with Matthew Sease, at Seventh Circle Music Collective.

A mish-mash of seemingly disconnected events led me there. (If I may indulge in another bit of old-man wisdom, nothing is disconnected.) Suffice it to say, a grungy, all-ages, DIY warehouse venue is not where you would expect to find me on a Saturday night.

When I found the venue’s entrance in a neglected industrial park in the Denver periphery, I was greeted by a scraggly, weather-worn row of teenagers sitting behind a desk taking the expected donation for entry and exchanging remarks in a terminology and inflection I couldn’t attempt to decode. I handed them my credit card, but their machine wasn’t working, but I could go in. Just hook us up next time was the vibe I got.

I snaked my way through a few dark hallways and found myself in a gravel courtyard. The Beeves had a merch table just before entrance to the performance space, which looked like something between a backyard shed and a wheat silo. I peeked in through the entrance and saw a dark, frantic scene straight out of Altamont while opening act The Velveteers, fronted by rock prodigy Demi Demitro, shook the shanty’s shingles. Not ready to enter the hellfire within, I nosed around the courtyard looking for a place to buy a beer, until I realized no such place existed. A friendly and perceptive young kid intuited my struggle and informed me of a liquor store a few blocks away. If I had said I was going, he would have probably asked me to buy him a bottle.

The Beeves.

The Beeves.

At the merch table, I became disoriented, aghast. I was at an EP release, but there was no EP. Not in the conventional sense, anyway. I’d been to hundreds of these types of events in my seventeen years in music and never seen anything like this. Rather than rows of glossy jewel cases or neatly splayed, plastic-wrapped sleeves, the “albums” offered were burned CDRs packaged in the poster for the show.

Scandalous, I thought, in my stuffiest inner voice (which is somehow always British.)

I scanned the area for other embarrassed looks, embarrassed at The Beeves for not offering a more polished product at such an event. I didn’t see any. All I saw were a bunch of young, deliriously hyped-up hyenas bouncing off one another and rocking out to the vibe. No one gave a shit but me. I took the hint that I, and perhaps the majority of my music-scene generation- in all of our sensitive-guy mustache and pensive-girl thick-frames glory- had fallen out-of-touch. We didn’t see the storm coming (this was a theme in 2016.) We still give a shitit occurred to me. These kids really, really don’t. And they don’t have to.

The Velveteers closed out their riotous set and said goodnight. As I watched the stage through the doorway (I still wasn’t ready enter the dragon, as it were), puzzled at how Demitro could be playing such sophisticated, badass rock-and-roll at such a young age, an announcement was made for the performance area to be vacated while The Beeves set their stage. A swarm of show-goers drifted through the exit to the courtyard like clowns out of a car- it is amazing how many people that little place can hold- and stood around in circles, their hot, moshed-out lungs breathing thick into the freezing Denver December.

Amid the horde, I saw an older guy, the only person I’d seen thus far clearly older than I, who looked suspiciously similar to Beeves frontman, Ian Erhart. Eager to see if there was a connection, I wormed my way toward him. Indeed, it was Ian and Will’s father, John Erhart. He was a songwriter himself, and he wrote and performed songs for Ian while he was in the womb. He didn’t have to say how proud he was of his son, nor proud of himself for making the musical effort back then; his face was lit with pride in it all.

And then some kid in the circle next to us got punched in the face. Hard. Full-fisted.

Braced for bedlam, I stepped back, knuckles tight. But rather than swing back, the kid who got hit smiled and asked for another. The crowd had gone restless waiting for The Beeves to call us back inside. John and I shared a smirk. We had both taken part in similar youthful hijinks, it seemed.

The Beeves' EP Release Show.

The Beeves' EP Release Show.

Inside, the stage was draped in a cartoonishly scraggly, misshapen sheet, the stage lights flashing out around the edges. The buzz in the crammed room rose; I was sure another backyard wrestling match would break out. But then The Beeves, in all of their earnest goofiness, kicked the curtain down and commenced with the thrashing. Their energy was unbelievable, and their affect, so entirely devoid of self-seriousness, spread around the room like an infectious, airborne disease.

I enjoyed the shit out of their set, as did all in attendance. It was arranged for maximum impact with a spirited selection of covers and originals, the latter so impactful I decided to pick up one of those poster-wrapped EPs from the merch table on my way out.

I was richly rewarded for my open-mindedness.

Photo Credit: Veltrida

Photo Credit: Veltrida

The album kicks off with the track “Skagua,” featuring Ian on guitar, Matthew on bass, and Will on the drums. It’s a hard-driving neo-ska spine breaker that serves as a fitting introduction the band, as its chief purpose is to punch you stiffly in the nose. The melody, rhythm, arrangement- none is particularly ground-breaking. In fact, the sound (along with the record in general) is rooted most evidently in the mid-nineties skateboard scene. But The Beeves offer a qualitative alteration to this well-trodden sound, one that’s as obvious to the ear as it is difficult to put a finger on. It’s as if Sublime and The Offspring had been reanimated and struck repeatedly in the tuckus with a cattle-prod. The following track, “Jesus, he came,” follows much in the same vein as “Skagua.”

“Shoelace,” the third track, is the anthem of The Beeves in the ears of their fans. By the time this song is played in a live set, the band is shirtless and possibly naked; it’s not for the sake of vanity or shock-value, but rather, it’s as if the freedom they derive from playing this song demands such release. In “Shoelace’s” three quick minutes, the entire experience of the band is had. If pressed to express what this is in three quick words, I could do it in two: goofy sincerity. The beat rocks (the younger Ehrhart, Will, is a revelation on this track); the melody hooks clean at the chorus where Ian and Matthew croon a startlingly honest question, one to which both a teenager and widower could relate: “Without you/How am I supposed to tie my shoe?”

Listen to The Beeves’ track “Oogamy”:

The fourth track “Oogamy” could slide easily onto the backend of your favorite Sublime record. Recording engineer Oliver Mueller does his best work on the album here capturing the tandem, note-for-note vocals of all three band members. This is no small task, especially given the free-wheeling, loose nature of the vocal style. The track also features a seriously funky clarinet solo performed by friend-of-the-band, Michaela Nemeth. The lyrics at the refrain are most poignant: “When I said leave me alone/I didn’t mean leave me/I wish I had could say what I mean/I wish I had something to mean.”

“Jerry the Drifter” is a fine display of punk thrashery with surprisingly musical flashes. The instrumental that comprises the song’s first half features guitar with flamenco overtones and a theatrically plucky bass, dipping and rising in volume as the moment demands. This all leads into a more conventional pop-punk song with melodic sensibilities. “Jerry” offers shades of early Car Seat Headrest, with its sweet hooks, advanced musicality, and unapologetically raw delivery.   

The best is saved for last on The Beeves’ self-titled EP. “Moe” is an instant classic, with the emphasis on classic. This is high praise, I know, but I can prove it. Well, kind of. You just have to believe what I’m about to tell you is true: In preparation for writing this review, I stealthily played the song in social settings to gauge reaction.

The first time was at my place, where one of my most musically sophisticated buddies came over to hang. As he stepped inside, he cocked his head and lifted an eyebrow at the sound.

Weezer?” he asked. I said nothing. “Is it old Weezer?”

Later that week, I took control of the sound system at a local pub that lets its patrons seize control of the music via bluetooth. From the table next to mine, some guy tapped me on the shoulder.

“Weezer?” he asked, that same sifting-through-old-memories look on his face that my buddy had.

“Moe” is a slow-time rockabilly blues jam with the kind of punked-out irreverence Rivers Cuomo rode to stardom. It’s as if he could have written the song himself as an alternative ending to The Blue Album. The bridge features a single guitar note crescendo, reminiscent of moments in “Heroin” by The Velvet Underground, which leads to the hook at the chorus, sung with wistful abandon and gaiety. It’s doubtlessly a keeper for the band moving forward.    

When ametuer athletes are scouted by professional teams, they are often evaluated in terms of their “floor” and their “ceiling.” The former indicates the kind of players they are at the moment, for better or worse, while the latter expresses their potential to improve. On rare occasions, a player is considered to possess high degrees of both. The Beeves appear to be in this rarefied category, as their sound already astounds, and their potential to improve is a certainty.

The ceiling is high for these kids. High enough, even, to inspire their elders, (your humble correspondent included) to toss themselves recklessly, once again, into a pit of flying elbows and whirling knees.

Make sure to see The Beeves at The Gothic for their show this Friday, February 10th with Mustard Plug; tickets here.

-Pete

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Explore the Underground "Indie Garbage" That is The Hunger Artist

By: Jura Daubenspeck

The Hunger Artist (“H.a.”),who goes by his pseudonym Travis Moor, or ™, for short, is a bit of an anomaly. Constantly grappling between the need to create and the reluctance to unveil these creations to the public, he promenades through Denver’s underground music scene with his tribe and plays music for the hell of it.

It’s likely you have not heard H.a.’s music before, unless you’ve stumbled into one of their shows at The Deer Pile, or at a word-of-mouth house party. There’s nearly no music released online, which serves as a protective layer, as well as a call to action: if you’re going to judge their self-titled “indie garbage,” at least get up and dance to it in person first.

Since 2011, the band (Travis Moor, Hunter Fausnaugh, Collin Fausnaugh, and Stefan Short) have been creating music you can move your body to, but when examined further, their tunes also have a deeper meaning. Circulating throughout the themes of philosophy, love, and the overarching goal of self-actualization, H.a. teeters between a playfully punk attitude, pop-like beats, and a general quirkiness that does not fit any mold.

I had the opportunity to talk to Moor himself, which felt like a rare treat. Aside from discussing the general history of the band, their inability to fit into Denver’s exclusive music niches, and the hilarity of pigeons, what I found most fascinating about our conversation was the concept of creating for the sake of creativity, rather than for other people.

The rationale behind much of Moor’s creative decisions revolves around “inside jokes with himself,” and when prompted about what he wants people to know about him, Moor replied, “I’ve never really thought about it until I started thinking that people actually may want to know me. I want people to focus on what they’re doing and what they’re experiencing.” We discussed Franz Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist,” which details the life of an archetypal artist, who, despite the declining appreciation of his craft, performs no matter if anyone is watching.

In the last few years, H.a. has been hitting it hard, finishing an album, recording music at The Spot Studios, and having enough music for a second and third album. And if we’re lucky, we’ll be able to hear some of it. The band just released their music video for “Gotta Live a Life” which adds a quirky spin to the concept of corrupted ideas and groupthink. The video was directed by Josh Mackey and stars the ever-bizarre punk musician Little Fyodor.

Watch H.a.’s “Gotta Live a Life” music video:

While the connection between artists and their fans is often highlighted, The Hunger Artist plays the devil’s advocate, and suggests that creativity should inevitably exist for the creator itself, because in the end, it’s your soul that rests in that piece of art.

Lucky for us, H.a. has an upcoming show with Stereoshifter, The Backseaters, Sliver, and Defying Mara at Moe’s BBQ on January 28th, and it’s bound to be a great time. Tickets can be purchased here.

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.