Music News

Critic's Choice: Smoothbore at 3 Kings Tavern

Migrating from the East Coast and Midwest underground music scenes, Sonya Decman played nervy, aggressive, angular punk with the Symptoms, her first Denver band, an outfit with a pointed yet playful sense of humor. When that band called it quits, Decman joined the ranks of the darkly intense and literate Tarmints for two albums before they, too, parted ways. In 2009 she got together with punk stalwarts Matt Flanagan and Scott Lewis to form Smoothbore. Whether by accident or design, this band employs two basses and drums but no guitar, for a sound reminiscent of the Jesus Lizard, Shellac and the Unsane. Except that Smoothbore strikes a thick groove as much as it employs jagged dynamics. Led by Decman's declarative vocals, Smoothbore (due at 3 Kings Tavern on Friday, October 8) is post-punk with none of the gloomy introspection and all of the catharsis.

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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.