If music festivals are good for one thing it's seeing great new bands. If they're good for anything else it's seeing bands you used to really like play again after a long hiatus. This year's Riot Fest has a great crop of both new and old acts, so for anyone that missed these bands the first time around now's as good a time as any to catch up on what everyone's been carrying on about.
Failure is your favorite band's favorite band. During their initial run as a band from 1990-1997 they flew below almost everyone's radar. Then they broke up and almost immediately started getting more press than ever, mostly in the form of people like Cave In's Stephen Brodsky praising them in interviews (the band even recorded an amazing version of Failure's "Magnified") and record collectors clamoring for reissues of their three albums, Comfort, Magnified and Fantastic Planet. Those fans got their wish and a whole lot more when Failure announced they were getting back together earlier this year. Failure's music is hard to classify but it's safe to say there's something there for fans of rock and more aggressive and creative forms of music. A lot of people would be willing to pay the price of Riot Fest's admission just to see Failure, so don't miss this opportunity.
The New York hardcore scene has produced a number of unusual but extremely interesting non-hardcore bands over the years, and Glassjaw is in the upper echelon of that heap. Formed in 1993, Glassjaw only released two albums during its tenure but boy were they amazing. Despite releasing bothEverything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence
andWorship And Tribute
on major labels (Roadrunner and Warner Bros.) the records were received with open arms by the underground punk community, something that wasn't necessarily a given during that time period. Despite the adoration of fans and legendarily wild shows Glassjaw was critically unstable for its entire existence. Lineup changes were a regular occurrence (the band's Wikipedia page lists five current members, eight former members nearly as man people that toured as musicians with the band. The band's breakup in 2004 (in reality they simply stopped playing shows and recording) was no surprise and neither was the announcement they were getting back together in 2009. Glassjaw comes and goes, so don't miss this opportunity to see Daryl Palumbo's rotating cast of hired guns go bananas and generally blow your mind.3. Mineral
I'll be honest: I don't get all the hubbub over Mineral. The band always seemed like they were on a mission to out-Sunny Day everyone, including Sunny Day Real Estate. The results went way beyond the point of homage, with vocalist Chris Simpson singing with an affectation that truly sounded like a Jeremy Enigk impersonation. Still, people were crazy about it and Simpson's next group, the Gloria Record. Copies of both band's records go for serious dough on eBay, and the giddy chatter over the announcement of their reunion has been overwhelming, so much so that, even though I saw them numerous times in the '90s I'm eager to give them another shot. All those emo kids can't be wrong, right?2. Face To Face
Face To Face were a pop-punk band before the members of most better-known pop-punk bands were able to walk. Way back in 1991 the band formed out of the ashes of hardcore band Zero Tolerance. Between then and their breakup in 2004 Face To Face honed the art of anthemic, upbeat punk rock, transcending the underground scene that spawned them and bringing a whole new batch of fresh faces to the punk scene. Face To Face even wound up on the soundtracks to Tank Girl and National Lampoon's Senior Trip, something fairly extraordinary at the time. Apparently the members resolved the artistic differences that tore them apart because their first record after reforming in 2011, Laugh Now, Laugh Later is as good as anything they ever did back in the good old days.1. Hot Snakes
The fact that you can simply drive down toMile High Stadium
, flop down some cash and see Hot Snakes play is ridiculous. After post-hardcore Drive Like Jehu disbanded in 1995 it looked like the era of driving, borderline out-of-control post hardcore was dead. Then Hot Snakes rose from the ashes and pummeled audiences with an arguably more approachable version of Drive Like Jehu-style tunes. After three studio albums and one of the better live records of the decade Hot Snakes split up, with guitarist/vocalists Rick Froberg and John Reis moving on to Obits and the Night Marchers respectively. Now, they're back, and if last week's Drive Like Jehu reunion show in San Diego is any indication, they'll be in great form for the Denver show.
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