Hit Pick

Can't make up your mind between a rock show or a dance party? You're not alone: Neither can The Royal We. This local threesome has been spinning melodies and bustin' moves over the past year, torching Denver with its jittery, sassy brand of string-strangling pop. Singer/guitarist Eli Mishkin seems to have a serious Archers of Loaf fetish, tapping into Eric Bachmann's vast penchant for saw-toothed hooks as much as his rumbling, avuncular warble. Accordingly, his lyrics tread that fine line between annoyingly clever and intimately confessional, as evidenced in songs like "Hot IQs" and "The Have Nots Have Knots." But it's the beat machine made up of drummer Elaine Acosta and bassist Bryan Feuchtinger (who also drums for Thank God for Astronauts and records both bands at his own Uneven Studios) that nails the whole thing to the dance floor, swiping away at bedrock rhythms with a playful yet ass-kicking abandon. The group usually closes out its sets with the anthem "Iggy Pop," a near-tribal romp of drums, tambourine, handclaps and chants that sounds like the Bad Seeds aping Beat Happening. Catch the Royal We at the Bluebird Theater on Saturday, January 17, with Voices Underwater, Against Tomorrow's Sky and Curious Yellow. They'll put the indie-rock chocolate in your disco peanut butter.

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