Music News

O'er the Ramparts

You can just picture it: Four children of the '70s kicking it in the basement, inadvertently huffing poorly capped bottles of paint thinner and plowing through wobbly renditions of all their classic-rock favorites. Then punk comes along and, instead of giving them tunnel vision, actually opens their eyes.

After five years as Denver's ambassador of old-school indie rock, O'er the Ramparts has fizzled out. But thankfully, the group has bequeathed one last injection of innocence and honesty to a world sorely in need of it: Mandatory ESP is a sixteen-track chunk of clunky pop with a cock-rock core, recalling Kiss and the Who as smothered by Superchunk and Love as Laughter. Not even electron microscopes could detect an iota of pretension or posturing in these songs, where guitar solos soar like spitballs, and riffs and harmonies breathe deep instead of hyperventilating. Denver's once-humble indie scene is well on its way to becoming too hip for its britches; all the would-be Modest Mice in town would do well to subject themselves to a little Mandatory listening.