Music News

Amphibious Jones

Readers of Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle will never forget the final image of Bokonon thumbing his nose at God while the terminal freeze of ice-nine overcomes him. That unapologetic spirit of defiance against authority and tradition is summoned throughout this entire album. Oh, sure, a lot of the guitar work borrows heavily from glam shlocksters like Zebra and virtuosos such as Joe Satriani, and the songwriting may make you think you're catching a glimpse of musical hell circa 1988, but the members of Amphibious Jones use the tricks of '80s hard rock for a far more subversive effect, matching the excess and absurdity of their songs' subject matter. Once you get past the surface sheen, the dark core of each song becomes starkly obvious. Reverend Jimmy Curtis snarls irreverently about the hubris of our society and our species like an art-metal Johnny Rotten. The overall mood of the album resembles a Bill Hicks rant fusing cultural criticism with sublimely black humor.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.