The Fucking Champs

Thursday, June 2, Starlight, Fort Collins, 1-970-484-4974, and Friday, June 3, Larimer Lounge, 303-291-1007.

Imagine the all-employee band at a Guitar Center company picnic -- only instead of washed-up ponytail dudes and zit-faced Slipknot geeks, the guys on stage are true hipster bluebloods: One was a founding member of screamo forebear Nation of Ulysses, and the whole group has collaborated twice with the post-rock pranksters of Trans Am. In other words, imagine the Fucking Champs. The San Francisco trio (drummer Tim Soete and guitarists Tim Green and Josh Smith) bends songs, strings and genres into warped mutations of theatrical metal; the outfit's most recent full-length, 2002's V, is a compendium of every epic instrumental intro Queen and Iron Maiden never wrote. Since then, the Champs have released one of the aforementioned Trans Am team-ups, Gold, under the name Fucking Am -- and it's the perfect summation of Smith and Green's melodic, scale-blazing virtuosity. Plans are under way for the completion of the threesome's eagerly awaited new album, but for the time being, in concert is the only way to keep up with the Fucking Champs. Either that or hit them up for some Ernie Balls down at the guitar shop.
 
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