Music News

Choke the Word

You have to give credit to a band writing relatively dark music that leads off its album with a song called "Clown Car Suicide." Amid sometimes biting, melodic guitar rhythms, string filigrees and Melati Olivia's classically inflected vocals, the music of Choke the Word often recalls Loreena McKennitt if she had embraced rock more than her Celtic leanings. "Gilgamesh" is similarly flavored, but the bass line is reminiscent of something Simon Gallup might have done, giving the song a moody low-end counterpoint melody. "In June" finds the band weaving together shimmery atmospheres and distorted passages that flirt with the metallic. That juxtaposition can be heard elsewhere on the album and often works to balance out the music's soft edges, as on "Mariana." Ultimately, Choke the Word's debut is a duskily melodic affair, with shades of Fields of the Nephilim and Evanescence.

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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.