Music News

James and the Devil

"Looking Down the Barrel," Altitude Sickness's opening track, leads with a Celtic feel and a tinge of bluegrass, with the fiddle pulling the melody along. James Campbell's vocals seem informed by hip-hop in both his delivery and the flow of the lyrics, but the music never really crosses over into rap-rock territory. "Schmuck" and "Huckleberry" blend in bits of blues and funk with a more rustic style of songwriting, while "Told You So" is the most unusual track, with its intricate and perfectly executed starts and stops, as if these guys had decided to push the envelope a little. Bottom line: This is good-time, upbeat, groovy music that might appeal to you if you were ever into Liquid Jesus's warped funk or appreciated the eclectic psychedelia of Widespread Panic.

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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.