Music News

Pitch Invasion makes poppy punk rock seem relevant again

Comprising veterans of Denver's punk-rock scene, the Pitch Invasion took its name from the phenomenon of a crowd at a soccer game getting unruly and invading the field, also known as "the pitch," and taking events into its own hands.

This weekend, the band — made up of Mike McCrory and Shane Henry of Front-side Five; Joey Chaos and Timmy Aldworth, formerly of Johnny Eager; and frontman Jim Yelenick, formerly of Jet Black Joy and Negative Man — is releasing its debut album, Live to Regret, which features songs that manage to make poppy punk rock seem relevant again.

The tunes are melodic without losing the rawness, aggression and sense of mayhem aimed at the angst of the inner adolescent in all of us. We spoke with Yelenick about playing a warehouse show and the cyclical nature of the Denver underground rock scene.

Westword: Why are you having your CD release at a DIY sort of venue instead of the type of venues you most often play?

Jim Yelenick: Number-one reason is that it's all-ages. We play bars all the time, but there's never a chance to do something different. I have nephews and nieces who are underage, and I know a lot of skater kids who follow us and know us. We played a couple of snowboard parties when that snowboard expo was in town. If everyone can't be involved, it kind of defeats the purpose.

This is going to open it up to a much wider audience than playing at a "punk bar" or whatever. This opens it up so that anyone can come who wants to come, and it should be open to everybody. We might be pissing some people off by doing that, but I think we're also making some people happy, as well.

You've been around the Denver music scene for nearly twenty years. What do you see as the biggest change, and maybe some things that haven't changed?

I don't know — the more things change, the more things stay the same kind of thing. I see that all these guys I haven't seen play in a while are all starting bands again. And I've seen the scene go from punk rock to rock to garage style. I played Sam DeStefano of Hate Fuck Trio his first punk-rock record in high school. I loaned the LaDonnas my drum set when they started as a band.

I've seen all these different bands come and go, and it's wonderful to see some people get to a place where they're doing what they love. I remember when Karen Exley was playing bass in Self Service. Now she's playing for Nashville Pussy. It's just cool to see that it's still such a lively scene. I think there was kind of a lull there for a little bit, but it's nice to see it's back now.

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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.