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Somewhere in Denver there's a backyard barbecue pit full of steak drippings, cigarette butts, smashed beer bottles and a couple decades' worth of kerosene-soaked charcoal. From those rancid, grimy ashes rose Heeler. The band's second CD, Release the Snake!, is a meaty slab of rock and roll that tastes as well-done as it smells; from the stoned heaviness of "Too High to Rock" to the shit-kicking hoedown of "Live Forever," Release locks its jaws — and singer J. Woo's Danzig-like growl — around a well-chewed bone of sludge, snarl, spit and even a savory little shred of country twang. Accordingly, the disc's cover song, a faithfully foaming-at-the-mouth version of Black Flag's "Nervous Breakdown," is pure punk-rock comfort food — that is to say, a nice, charred rack of broken ribs with a sauce of booze and attitude.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.