There weren't too many people trying to play in rock bands around Cody, Wyoming, when Wes Roemmich, Levi Wells and Tyler Merkel were growing up there. They eventually crossed paths in high school, but they didn't start playing music together until after they moved to Denver a couple years ago. Known as Trick Doves -- a reference to a tune by their friends in Noise Noise Noise -- the three have just completed a new EP titled Electric Hands that they hope will help feed the rocking masses who hunger for smashing drums and heavy guitar riffs.
Although each band member moved to Denver on his own -- Roemmich and Wells were playing as a two-piece for a while before they crossed paths with Merkel and became a trio -- their shared history, common influences and geographic commonality made it easy to sort out the band's sound without deliberation. "We all had an idea what we were used to hearing and playing from being around each other," says Roemmich, the group's frontman and guitarist. "There was no expectation. We just started playing, and it was what it was."
And what it was was pure rock. The six songs on Electric Hands, the band's latest effort, fuse punk, glam and hard-rock influences into a compellingly foot-stomping and arm-swinging combination. In an age where technology allows bedroom musicians to create a polished sound that would've been unimaginable in the decades preceding analog recording, the Trick Doves' EP has a decidedly unpolished DIY sound that is true to its roots -- almost like unearthing a lost seven-inch from the wave of late-'90s underground punk and hardcore that flourished in the wake of commercially successful acts like Rancid and the Offspring. It's not perfect, but it rocks. That's the point.
"You just have to play real rock and roll and have fun with it," says Roemmich. "There's some awesome stuff happening here that people don't really know about it, and we want to be part of it."
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"This is a first stab at making something more legitimate," he goes on. "This is probably the most serious approach that we've taken. We just wanted something that was going to be more polished in our eyes -- maybe not so much to other people."
With the record done, and Roemmich about to finish his final semester at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, the Trick Doves have a couple of shows lined up around town this spring, but they'd like to do more, including plans for a summer tour. "We'd like to be playing more," Roemmich says, "but we're going through a member change." The Electric Hands EP serves as a send-off for Wells, who left to pursue international travel. The group's progress won't falter as a result of his departure, though: Roemmich and Merkel have enlisted a new bass player that they've been rehearsing with. Catch their next show during a stacked bill of hard rock at the Lion's Lair on April 24. In the meantime, check out Electric Hands.