Well, folks, this is it. For nearly three years, I, Eryc Eyl, have brought you fresh, free Colorado music every week via Steal This Track, and it’s been a wonderful ride. With today’s column, however, I turn my attention to other things and pass the torch of musical larceny to the one and only Josh Johnson. Starting next week, Josh will be your curator and guide to all things musical, Colorado-made and, most important, free. It’s gonna be great.
But enough about that — let’s get to the music. This week, we bring you the retro pop of Ending People, the riff punk of Joy Subtraction and the hefty blues rock of West Water Outlaws. Stuff ’em in your hard drive.
If the members of Ending People look familiar, you’ve probably been paying attention to Denver music for a while. Jeff Davenport, Tim Husmann, Erin Roberts and Justin Croft have played in some our city’s most noteworthy bands (Dust on the Breakers, Porlolo, Nathan and Stephen/Hearts of Palm, and many more), but familiarity with the past probably won’t prepare you for what you’ll hear on “Fill Your Lungs,” the quartet’s moody, moddy debut. Drawing inspiration from ’80s New Wave, the record’s tightly written and surprisingly danceable tunes are well-produced, beautifully played and easy on the ears. Steal “Beat of My Heart” for a sneak preview, but don’t miss the album release party this Friday night at Larimer Lounge, with openers Sweet Tooth Meat Tooth and A Mouthful of Thunder.
The members of Joy Subtraction also have impressive resumes, with stints in bands like My Name, Wretch Like Me, Ghost Buffalo, Matson Jones and more. The band’s debut record, set for release on the Swayback’s LGL Records, finds guitarist Abe Brennan, drummer Brian Polk and bassist Matt Regan (replaced by Dave Lamothe after recording). Cheekily titled “The Essential Joy Subtraction,” the expertly recorded (thanks to Jason Livermore of the Blasting Room) album finds the band mining the more adventurous side of ’80s punk (a Minutemen cover gives some hint of the band’s influences) as well as the beefier side of ’90s alternative rock (fans of Bullet Lavolta will be delighted) and churning out a hefty, riff-driven ore that is aggressive, yet graceful. Steal “Investment Bankers Unite!” (offered as a high quality 320 kbps download at the request of LGL Records) for a sample of the trouble these boys can get into, then get yourself to Surfside 7 in Fort Collins on Friday night (the Swayback opens), or to the Hi-Dive in Denver on Saturday night (with Il Cattivo, Accordion Crimes and Shining Wires) to experience it live.
West Water Outlaws might not have any fancy credentials on their resume, but with as much butt as the Boulder band’s sophomore EP kicks, no credentials are necessary. Recorded at UI Sound Studios in Boulder, the EP finds vocalist/guitarist Blake Rooker, lead guitarist Will Buck, bassist Vince Ellwood and drummer Andrew Oakley strutting through a meaty, gritty, sticky set of blues rock that connects the dots between Led Zeppelin and Clutch. You can steal the record’s title track right here. Then get your kicked butt up to the Fox Theatre for the release party this Thursday night. It’ll also be the grand re-opening of the venerable Boulder venue, so it promises to be a night to remember.
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 Steal This Track for consideration.
Eryc Eyl is a veteran music journalist, critic and Colorado native who has been neck-deep in local music for many years. Against his mother’s advice, Eryc has also been known to tweet. You can also follow Steal This Track on Twitter. Sorry, Mom. Tune in next week when noted Denver journalist, music lover and Denver Diatribe podcast host Josh Johnson takes over Steal This Track.