Morrison’s Bullet Inc has been knocking around the Denver area for nearly four years, but in the past year or so, the punk-stoked, metal-brandishing rock act has really started to turn some heads. Chosen as one of the top bands in KBPI’s “Best Band in Denver” contest about a year ago, the quartet of drummer Travis DeWeese, bassist Ian Treadway, guitarist James Thatcher and vocalist Joe Morency has continued to build a following and develop its chops leading up to “Atomic Dive Bar,” the band’s debut full-length album, which will see daylight tomorrow (Nov 11) at Toad Tavern in Littleton.
The 11 tracks on “Atomic Dive Bar” form a loosely coherent concept album about war, self-destruction and partying in the face of both. Though the nuclear war material sounds like it escaped from the Reagan era, the aggression, razor-sharp production and tight songwriting throughout make the record a fist-pumping, pint-waving and thoroughly modern good time. On a dime, Bullet Inc is able to flip from Pantera-like riff wielding to punky snark wielding with cat-like agility and gorilla-like intensity. “How I Learned to Love the Bomb” and “Better Days” showcase the band’s more serious side, while a track like “Dawn’s Early Light” gives the quartet the chance to goof off a bit. Steal “Learning from the Best” to get a glimpse of what’s to come when Bullet Inc shares “Atomic Dive Bar” with the rest of the world tomorrow night.The new full-length record from the much-celebrated Denver band Orbit Service has been a long time coming, but give them a break. Randall Frazier and Kim Hansen don’t even live on the same continent. Plus, they managed to pull in contributions from Edward Ka-Spel of the Legendary Pink Dots, Anna Brønsted of Efterklang, erstwhile Denver resident Elin Palmer and more, so they’re to be forgiven for taking their time.
If the international, internet-enabled logistics aren’t enough to make you forgive the wait, then the 14 tracks on “A Calm Note from the West” ought to do the trick. Orbit Service is in full effect(s) on the latest opus. With a minimalist’s approach to songwriting and a maximalist’s approach to sound, Frazier and Hansen create robust, lush, dense tracks that also manage to be raw and fragile. Frazier’s vulnerable vocals seem to tremble in the face of awe-inspiring sonic cityscapes and barren frozen tundras. With a combination of heartless digital bleeps and existentially organic textures, Orbit Service creates a world of sad and beautiful loneliness. Steal “Black” to hear it for yourself, then pop down to the Walnut Room on Saturday night to catch the live version of Orbit Service — which includes Bill Swenson, Kirill Nikolai and Dennis Swanson — and pick up a copy of the album for yourself.
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.