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CRITIC'S CHOICE

Spell, with Fox Force 5, Friday, December 22, at the Bluebird Theater, hasn't achieved the national breakthrough for which many locals were hoping: The band's 1994 bow for Island Records, Mississippi, was first-rate, but it got lost in the avalanche of generic alt-rock released by the music industry over the past year-plus. Still, the act is quietly spreading its message beyond the Denver city limits, most recently via the soundtrack to the snowboarding movie Odd Man Out, a Europe-only release that sets the Spell track "Superstar" alongside cuts by the Beastie Boys, Bush and Oasis. Right now the players are demoing songs for their next album, and some of this material may sneak into their Bluebird set. If so, it would be an early Christmas present for the hometown folks.

 
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