Kissing Party – Waster’s Wall
Kissing Party’s latest record, “Waster’s Wall,” still reflects a little more Belle & Sebastian than it’s probably meant to. And I’m putting that out there right away because of Gregg Dolan’s reported frustration with that comparison. But it’s not mired in the Brit-pop band’s lo-fi jangle. For this record, the four-piece seems to have pulled out a little early New Order to add to a bright pop sound that’s sort of becoming a Denver music trademark (albeit for just one of the many active genres in town). There’s also a nod to the Velvet Underground’s legendary eponymous album – particularly in Dolan’s vocals, and particularly behind the songs “Gold Holes,” as well as a heavy Mercury Rev vibe.
Actually – despite Dolan’s frustration with the first comparison – these are all big names to be pulling some of your musical influence from, and he should be proud. And the whole band should be proud of “Waster’s Wall,” probably one of Denver’s best of 2011 in our opinion. The record also has our vote for one of the best pieces of cover art – ever.
Erik Husman & The Golden Rule – Archaeology of the Letdown
If your tastes run towards the true dirt folksiness of Woodie Guthrie, or you like your alt-country to reek of heartbreak and solitude, campfires and wide open skies, then this Sunday night’s show at the Oriental Theater is a must see – at least early on.
Sponsored by Afton Shows, the night’s showcase will feature a set by local troubadour Erik Husman and his newly-named band The Golden Rule – the first set since March of this year, and since they released the second record. Recorded live at the Walnut Room, Husman’s second record “The Archaeology of the Letdown” is a solid collection of original tunes that harken back to an earlier style of folk, but that still carry the weight and levity of more recent situations. It was recorded entirely live specifically to catch the power of the band as they live through the songs – each one a vignette of simple misfortune or joyous, haphazard confusion with relationships. It’s a satisfying, somewhat bluesy mix that recalls a feeling of proto-Wilco tunes, and Husman himself shows the occasional glimmer of Jeff Tweedy from time to time – at least in composition.
Check out some of the record, but be sure to get to the Oriental EARLY for this all ages show to catch them – you won’t regret it.
Mombi – The Wounded Beat
Quiet, at times almost imperceptible, ambience. This is on the menu for the musical meal that is Mombi’s “The Wounded Beat.” Kael Smith and Matt Herron’s latest oeuvre into the world of dreamy lullabies feels like a session in a sensory deprivation tank. The quiet becomes a catalyst that helps you make entire symphonies of sound that seem to last for hours, constantly folding into itself as it gains complexity. While listening with headphones, don’t be surprised to be startled by an interrupting voice – even at normal speaking volume it might sound like a yell (kind of like lifting a plastic cup way too fast because you thought it was heavy glass). This record inspires self-reflection, and seems to sharpen any focus you may have already honed – but it also goes for the outside.
Smith’s free-verse meanderings are almost too free at times, which may become a downside after listening repeatedly, but they sound real.