After seven years and three albums of treating Rowboat like a side project, or a stepchild, Sam McNitt is finally ready to give the band the attention it deserves. McNitt’s other band, Blue Million Miles, called it quits, and the songwriter decided to pull together a permanent line-up for Rowboat. And we stand to benefit.
Last month, Rowboat released “Of Disappearing,” the first album with a solid line-up. There will be a release show at Hi-Dive on Feb. 16, and the album will be available on Bandcamp at some point, but below we offer you “Cold, Black Wind.”
For sure, this is some moody stuff. But it’s more of an existential exhaustion than a whiney, “my life sucks” bummer show. McNitt’s warbling voice carries words of lament and being in the wrong place, and the music retreats and surges with subtle support of this mood. That is, until a haunting, lone guitar rises from it all. This is music for cold, wintry nights. So, pour a whiskey, kick up your feet and enjoy the melancholy. Rowboat’s music is great on it’s own, but the sound of a winter wind through pines will make it all the better.
In today’s world of hyphenated musical genres and novelty fusions of sounds, it really takes some balls to just play straight-forward rock ’n’ roll without irony or apology. If you don’t play it well, you’ll be written off as a bar band or classic rock revivalist. And those who do usually fall into the garage band category. Boulder’s The Amends do neither. They reference various styles of days gone — they wear their love of Lou Reed on their sleeves — without sounding like a tribute band.
The Amends just released “What We Could Be,” its second LP. Buy or stream it on the band’s Bandcamp site. Below, we give you “It’d Be Nice.”
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.
Josh Johnson is a Denver freelance writer and Reverb contributor. He is also a co-host/co-producer of the Denver podcast Denver Diatribe.