Crash Orchid, Go Patriot, The Dirty Novels June 29, 2007 3 Kings Tavern Better than: Missing out on Go Patriot would have been.
Friday night at 3 Kings tavern brought a more or less random mix of bands and music fans out. The night started off with Crash Orchid, a female-fronted local rock band celebrating its CD release. Crash Orchid played a mild, inoffensive brand of coffeehouse rock. Apart from the dulcet voiced (and quite lovely) singer, the group didn’t seem to have a lot going for it. The songs were lackluster, the performance was plagued by the drummer’s inability to consistently stay in time and both the bass player and guitarist seemed determined to look foolish. Apart from a halfway decent cover of “Metro” by Berlin, there wasn’t much there.
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Following that, the evening took a hard turn into esoteric territory. Go Patriot played a solid set of pounding, highly intricate drumming and dual electric bass guitar instrumentals that drew from hardcore, metal, free jazz and more, all blended into a mind-warping synthesis. The lead bass player’s style was unusual, to say the least. Playing chords, melodies and textural elements on a five-string bass guitar, this was not your everyday bass playing. He managed to get everything from a Cure-like guitar sound to percussive effects out of his instrument. The second bass player, who also did duty on an old Roland groovebox on a few songs, played a more traditional rhythm section role. The results were startlingly original and at times surprisingly melodic. Without a doubt, Go Patriot is another excellent band in Denver’s vital art rock/avant garde scene.
Finally, the Dirty Novels, from New Mexico, delivered a spot-on impression of the Rolling Stones as punk rock fans. They were self-consciously retro rock, from the clothes, to the tunes, to the attitudes. Despite being strong performers and players with a well-develop shtick, the songs simply weren’t good enough to justify their existence. The bottom line is, if you’re going to work in the shadow of some of the best-regarded rock bands of all time, without bringing a single new element to the party, your tunes had better kick some serious ass. The Dirty Novels’ songs didn’t, leaving them in the position of being an incredibly tight bar band that doesn’t have the good sense to play covers instead of retreads. -- Cory Casciato
Critic’s Notebook Personal Bias: My patience for both lite and retro rock is notoriously thin. Random Detail: With each new band, it seemed like the audience changed as well. By the Way: Go Patriot released a CD that night as well. It’s well worth the $5 they’re asking for it.