Illuminated by haunting bass tones and vaguely Brit-pop-accented melodies, "Firefly" flashes like heat lightning across a fluttery beat while voices echo into the torrid night sky. Put down a blanket and watch them buzz.
"Fat Man Gas Balloon"
O'er the Ramparts, Radio 1190 Local Shakedown Vol. II
Taking a breather from its usual hyperactive pop, local indie-rock stalwart O'er the Ramparts pumps out a blob of psychedelic whimsy that beams with all the helium-infused bewilderment of Syd Barrett and Sgt. Pepper's. Whip out the shades for this one.
"Drag Through Dust"
Deadlock Frequency, Traffic
Neurosis and Agnostic Front get in a playground fight, grinding each other's teeth in the dirt until blood flows red on the jungle gym. Heavier, meaner and more desperate than a pack of distemper-stricken rhinos.
"Smiles and Photographs"
The Fifth Utility,
Ultra Nylon Life of Ease
What's summer without snapshots and memories? Of course, they needn't all be as melancholic as "Smiles and Photographs," an acoustic, Radiohead-esque remembrance of things past -- especially the kind that should have been left where they were.
The Gamits, Antidote
Chris Fogal has long been one of Denver's undervalued songwriters, but this track might be the one to finally turn heads outside the punk arena. As catchy and accomplished as Weezer's best, "Open Window" is a fat lungful of fresh air.
Breezy Porticos, Keep It Crisp
To top off the local mix and send you packin' off into the sunset is the Breezy Porticos. Swimming with imagery of orange juice and Technicolor pictures, "Cloudninin'" revels in the glory of daydreaming your summer away. If you like the smell of mown grass, listening to the Shins and/or eating peach cobbler off paper plates, this one's for you.