Photo by Tom Murphy
Nudity with Temples and Outer Neon Friday, May 9, 2008 Glob Glob Glob, Colorado Springs Better Than: Most of the neo-classic rock out there.
Tight Bros. From Way Back When only played Denver once during its entire career, and that was on June 15, 1999 at Soulciety on Brighton Boulevard. It was an impressively blistering, bluesy rock-and-roll show, the likes of which had fallen somewhat out of favor at the time only to reemerge in mass popularity in the past half-decade. The band had played with critical darlings, Denver's Rainbow Sugar, and the first incarnation of Friends Forever.
For this show, Tight Bros.’ guitarist and vocalist, Dave Harvey, was in town with his latest project, Nudity. That act had played Denver two years ago at the Hi-Dive, but I don’t know if word got around much. The outfit's hometown of Olympia, Washington, is mostly well known for indie-pop bands and experimental music of various stripes. Nudity stands out for not really fitting into that spectrum.
Opening the show was Temples, Kevin Richards’ (Motheater, Epileptinomicon) avant-guitar project. His rig was hooked up for him to take advantage of his stereo delay so that he was able to create what sounded like multiple layers of sound. He used a wah pedal to alter his tones rather try to sound funky and rock-and-roll. The music was reminiscent of what Philip Glass might do if he could be a little darker and played guitar. Richards sounded like three guitar players in one, and his hypnotic set of one song evolving, washing over and shifting layers of finely textured guitar drone ended at exactly the right time.
After Temples, a three-piece band including Joe from Wicked Phoenix and Zach Brooks (Temple of Solomon, Zombie Zombie) set up and lurched into some sludgy, brooding, stoner rock songs. While we’ve heard quite enough of that sort of thing in Denver and everywhere else, this band, called Outer Neon, had much more interesting rhythms courtesy of Brooks and the group's bassist. Whereas a lot of similar sounding bands go for a straight ahead beat, these guys go for more unpredictable rhythmic dynamics swimming underneath the wave of slightly contorted, psychedelic, rock sounds.
When the members of Nudity took the stage, they had set up lights of differing colors and a textured filter of some kind that took the place of an oil projector. It gave the room a multicolored hue that fit perfectly with their set of extended, psych jam rock. A lot of people seem to be attempting this kind of thing, but Nudity never bores. Instead the act's songs rocket and swirl into soaring arcs of musical inspiration. A lot of bands drawing from similar sources sound too much like their influences, but for this entire show, Nudity came off like a great and undiscovered rock-and-roll band picking up where its forebears left off, showing a new generation how it’s done.
-- Tom Murphy
Personal Bias: I prefer the intimacy of underground shows and small venues. Random Detail: Guitarist/singer Dave Harvey plays a Guild Polara carved to look like it bears acorns. By the Way: You can find Nudity’s albums on the Kill Rock Stars and K Records websites.
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