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At least this band delivers on the promise of its name. From the opening track, "Battle of the Rabbits," you feel as though you've time-warped back to a fictional past when the club Tech Noir wished it could play music this frenetic. If Mr. Pacman fronted the Nails and ditched the horns, you'd get something like this: Fuzzy, relentless bass to match the strong if spare drumming and urgent yet equally minimal synth work behind barely clipped vocals make everything sound slightly tongue-in-cheek. Revisiting early-'80s new wave has rarely been this lively and curiously devoid of kitsch since the Faint put out Danse Macabre. If anything, Pep*Squad sounds as though it's trying to awaken the latent dance moves in its audience through sheer enthusiasm.

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.