In this week's issue, as we do every year around this time, we published our annual Moovers and Shakers list and talked about how much the scene is thriving. In a testament to just how much the scene is thriving these days, we didn't have room to print all the write-ups of our favorite local releases from the past year in the paper. So we're posting them here. After the jump, you'll find twenty more releases we were positively stoked on this past year. (If you haven't already, feel free to read about the all other releases that caught our attention in 2009.) Arliss Nancy, Dance to Forget (Self-released). Once you get past the fact that Cory Call sounds like Ben Nichols -- a lot like Ben Nichols -- and the fact that this young Fort Collins band is likewise tilling similar ground as Lucero, you'll find an album brimming with some of the best country-tinged, fire-breathing blue-collar rock to come out of Colorado in recent memory. - Dave Herrera Breathe Carolina, Hello Fascination (Fearless Records). Just a few years after their first upload, Breathe Carolina came out with yet another studio album just as addicting as the last. Kyle Even and David Schmitt have been relentlessly grinding out party anthems since their inception and have no intention of stopping. - Brian Frederick Churchill, Churchill EP (Self-released). A promising debut from one of the most promising acts to emerge this year, Churchill's EP offers a taste of the sextet's spirited folk rock, which is equally engaging in its more rollicking moments, on standout tracks such as "I Still Remember," as it is in it's more pensive ones on songs like "Catalyst." - Herrera Fierce Bad Rabbit, Fierce Bad Rabbit (Self-released). There's tangible melancholy hanging over this Fort Collins-based act's auspicious debut. Even in the more upbeat moments, Chris Anderson's incisive melodies cut with a plaintive edge. And Alana Rolfe's somber string work throughout augments the overall bittersweet air. - Herrera Kyle Hollingsworth, Then There's Now (Sci Fidelity). String Cheese Incident keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth's sophomore solo effort proved to be the surprise record of late summer. Kyle's genius with a melody hook, innovative studio production, skittery DJ record scratching samples, funky beats, immersive keyboard and vocal harmonies came together in an album you simply could get lost in. - Dutch Seyfarth Havok, Burn (Candlelight). On Burn, its nationwide debut, the hardcharging anachronistic men of Havok deliver a blistering, authentic brand of pure thrash metal that makes it legitmately seem as though the past two decades of nu metal, rap metal and all the other subsequent ill-advised genre-splicing takes on metal never happened. - Herrera The Inactivists, Love Songs and Other Songs About Love (Self-released). The Inactivists deliver another solid collection of fun and nerdy art rock. When it works, the band's blend of crass humor and smart composition is irresistible. The standouts, like "Song for Gary Glitter" and "Taxi Cab," are simply the best ukulele and theremin driven rock songs you will ever hear. - Cory Casciato Iuengliss, Motion In Mind (Bocumast). Composing and performing under the Iuengliss handle, Tom Metz is a master at sculpting sound. On Motion, Metz crafts synthetic figures out of mechanized beats, swirling synths and assorted blips and bleeps, which he then animates with wraithlike vocals dressed in disembodied harmonies. - Herrera Jen Korte and the Loss, Jen Korte and the Loss (Self-released). Throughout her debut, particularly on cuts like "Fleeting Love," Jen Korte's voice drips with seduction, longing, saddness and regret. With admirable depth, she also displays unyielding resolve in the face of her inherent vulnerabilities. A talented cast of players, add welcomed texture to Korte's otherwise sparse compositions, making her first outting one to remember. - Herrera Mama, Bayoutopia (Pop Sweatshop). Led by distinctive howl of Jeff Leonetti and the deft songsmithing of Chris Barber, Mama makes rock the way it used to be - the way it was meant to be. Cribbing from the titantic riffs and rhythms of Zeppelin, sprinkled with a dash of Magical Mystery-era psychedelia, this is rock that seriously needs no secondary classification. - Herrera Night Beds, Night Beds EP (Self-released). If you've never heard of Night Beds, that's unfortunate, but certainly understandable. The project, led by former Young Coyote Matt Wilcox, sort of burned up on the launch pad. All that remains is a pithy departing note on MySpace and a gorgeous batch of airy tunes that could easily fit neatly between I am the Dot and Young Coyotes on any playlist. -- Herrera Peña, Best Friends (Self-released). If you're going to trade exclusively in instrumental music, it better be pretty goddamned compelling. Fortunately, for the members of Peña, a kindred spirit of acts like Tristeza and Mogwai, the outfit has little difficulty capturing and keeping listener's attention, thanks to compositions that as rich and ornate as they are complex and challenging. A consistently rewarding listen. - Herrera Park Pourbaix, Songs for Short Stories (Bocumast). If the name didn't already give it away, Park Pourbaix is a collaboration between Ellison Park and Tim Pourbaix. Both noteworthy songwriters in their own right, the pair sound even more engaging together on Stories. Songs like "86 Me," in which Park's honeyed voice casually cozies up next to Pourbaix's breathy vocals, are simply irresistable. -- Herrera Tim Pourbaix, My Lover's Lover (Bocumast). Before moving to Brooklyn this past spring, Tim Pourbaix left us with a little something to remember him by. And what a striking something it is. On My Lover's Lover, which he worked on with Jme White, Pourbaix's paper thin croon is at its most vulnerable and effecting, particularly on tracks such as "Paper's Pink." - Herrera Savage Henry, Step Lively (Self-released). After years of toiling in the scene and enduring their share of lineup changes, the members of Savage Henry have unquestionably reached their stride. Step Lively is the act's most polished work to date. The Savage ones shine brightest on standout tracks like "Broken," which features the album's tautest and tastiest hook. - Herrera Science Partner, Science Partner (Self-released). In Dualistics, guitarist/vocalist Tyler Despres's voice takes a backseat to big guitars. With Science Partner, his acoustic-based solo-project-turned-full-fledged band, however, his burnished, nimble tenor takes center stage. At merely three songs, this EP's running time is woefully short. Despres packs enough pop into his spare folk, however, to ensure that time is well spent. - Herrera Solar Bear, Modern Architects (Self-released). Pleasingly erratic with frenetic guitar lines and abundant tempo shifts, Architects is a dense yet accessible release that draws from a number of distinctive post-hardcore influences like Fugazi, the Refused and At the Drive-In. Progressive without devolving to self-indulgence, Solar Bear is one ferocious, imposing creature. -- Herrera Coles Whalen, The Whistle Stop Road Record (Hitlab.com). The Whistle Stop Road Record bolsters the notion that Coles Whalen is one of the hardest working women in the scene with an album full of live tracks, DVD footage of her win in Akon's HitLab.com showcase, as well as new and remixed songs. A nice precusor for her next album, which is scheduled for release this spring. -- Frederick White Leather, White Leather (Self-released). Recorded by J.P. Manza at Colorado Sound, White Leather's self titled EP, with its gritty vocals and old school rock rhythms, make you wish mom hadn't thrown away your tight blank tees and leather. - Frederick Yawn Tron, Opened Captioning (Bocumast). Yawn Tron is the utterly compelling collaboration between Iuengliss mastermind Tom Metz and drummer Shane Zweygardt. With glitchtastic verve, Metz and Zweygardt bludgeon with throbbing, relentless rhythms that sound like a crank-addled drum machine in the midst of a nervous breakdown. -- Herrera
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