Critic's Choice

Right before Franz Ferdinand and the Arcade Fire came along and swiped its thunder, British Sea Power was poised to be the world's foremost purveyor of angle-brandishing indie anthems. But not everyone forgot: The Nightmare Fighters have enthusiastically channeled British Sea's arty post-punk and Ian Curtis-esque grumble into a promising sound crammed with dislocated rhythms and cryptic guitar romanticism. Formed in Colorado Springs almost two years ago, the trio of guitarist Nico Nell, singer/guitarist Jonathan Byerley and drummer Ian Burns soon moved to Boulder and enlisted bassist Joshua Carrafa. First known as the Modern Bombs, the foursome switched its name to the Nightmare Fighters just as it was honing songs for its five-track demo -- a spirited if occasionally awkward disc that flirts with feedback, sloppy waltzes and barbed, dark pop. As a band, the Nightmare Fighters is definitely still a work in progress; stop by the 15th Street Tavern on Thursday, March 3, and see the quartet inch a little bit nearer to greatness.


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