Steal This Track

Steal This Track: Catatonic Lydia and In Vitro

Zach Tipton of I Am the Dot and Young Coyotes (second from left) is featured on the new My First Band compilation with his first band, In Vitro, shown here. Photo by Shelly Neill.
Zach Tipton of I Am the Dot and Young Coyotes (second from left) is featured on the new My First Band compilation with his first band, In Vitro, shown here. Photo by Shelly Neill.
If you’ve ever wondered what some of the best-known musicians of Denver’s indie rock scene were doing before they got all rock-star famous (at least in their own minds), then you’re gonna love “My First Band.” The forthcoming compilations from Buckingham Pie Group, Hot Congress and the one and only Eric Peterson (Houses, Roger, Roll). The 11-track album — to be released as a free digital download and as a limited edition cassette on June 9 at an all-star house party — is Peterson’s parting contribution to the Denver music community before he shuffles off to Seattle, and it’s a fitting one.

Suzi Bromfield, a.k.a. Suzi Allegra, is featured on the My First Band compilation with her first band, Catatonic Lydia. Photo by Jonathan Shoup.
Suzi Bromfield, a.k.a. Suzi Allegra, is featured on the My First Band compilation with her first band, Catatonic Lydia. Photo by Jonathan Shoup.
“My First Band” features people that Reverb and Steal This Track readers will recognize, but in a slightly less recognizable form. It’s the equivalent of those embarrassing-but-adorable naked baby pictures your mom breaks out every time you bring home a new boyfriend or girlfriend. In some cases, you can hear the more mature artist developing ideas that would find their full form later. In other cases, you can’t believe that the nearly unlistenable recording came from someone who’s making decent music today. Stephen Till (A Mouthful of Thunder, Hearts of Palm, Black Black Ocean) offers up a track from his early project, Imperial Death Parade. Stuart Confer (Hindershot, Amazing Twin) reveals his life with Lincoln, Nebraska-based pop punkers Straight Outta Junior High.

Also featured on the compilation are Patrick Kelly (Amazing Twin, Hindershot), Corey Teruya (Hello Kavita, Kettle Black), Nathan Barsness (Fingers of the Sun, Pseudo Dates, Games for May, Insider Spider), Jeremiah Jones (Sun Red), several members of Candy Claws and Luke Hunter James-Erickson (the Don’ts and Be Carefuls). Peterson himself even offers up a track from his early band, Pick Up Those Pieces.

Two of the most interesting tracks on the compilation come from Zach Tipton (I Am the Dot, Young Coyotes) and Suzi Bromfield (Fingers of the Sun, Girls Walk By, Pseudo Dates and too many other bands to mention).

While touring with his first band, In Vitro, Zach Tipton met Adam Halferty, and the two formed Young Coyotes shortly thereafter. In the In Vitro song included on the compilation, you can hear the same sincerity and yearning in Tipton’s voice that you hear today. The recording quality doesn’t match his current work, of course, but you should still steal “Wrecking Ball” for a fascinating glimpse into the past of a compelling artist.

My First Band features recordings by well-known Denver musicians before they were well-known.
Cover art for My First Band, courtesy of Eric Peterson
Suzi Bromfield has been an enduring and never-dull fixture in the Denver music community for nearly a decade, which means she was just a teenager when her first band, Catatonic Lydia, crashed into the city’s all-ages venues with an unpolished-but-passionate vengeance. Steal “Plexiglass Eyes” and you’ll hear the raw roots of the powerful, post-riot grrl sound that current bands like Night of Joy and Lust-Cats of the Gutters are still developing.

Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.

If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Eryc Eyl for consideration.

Eryc Eyl is a veteran music journalist, critic and Colorado native who has been neck-deep in local music for many years. Check out Steal This Track for local music you can HEAR, and the Mile High Makeout for stories about Denver musicians doing extraordinary things. Against his mother’s advice, Eryc has also been known to tweet. You can also follow Steal This Track on Twitter. Sorry, Mom.