This week we’ve got an homage to ’70s psychedelic pop, jazz from a Denver supergroup, fuzzed-out rock-and-roll madness, an electro-pop remix, ear-splitting but catchy crust punk, and jam band bliss from Vail. Unless otherwise noted, the music is available on most major streaming platforms. Give ’em a listen and support the artists if you can.
Julian Fulco Perron In My Garden
Julian Fulco Perron’s In My Garden is a followup to his 2020 album, Dreamland, a collection of ten psychedelic bedroom-pop songs. While Perron once played in the band 21 Taras, which boasted a harder sound, on In My Garden, he looks to the Beatles. The record also takes sonic cues from the post-Beatles psychedelic pop of Paul McCartney, as well as the non-surf music the Beach Boys started putting out around the same time. Primarily an acoustic-driven record, In My Garden showcases lush instrumentals that include horn arrangements, strings and Mellotron sounds. Play it all the way through and take in the very 1970s vibe.
BTTRFLY Quintet Coast The grooves continue with Denver jazz supergroup BTTRFLY Quintet. The five-piece includes members of Lettuce, Big Gigantic and Break Science, who play ten tracks of highly cinematic jazz for their debut album. We’d argue that if you like pretending you're in a 1980s cop movie, this is the record for you. A track such as “Buried Treasure” works equally well for steamy, blue-tinted love scenes and the part in which the hero is driving aimlessly through Los Angeles streets, thinking about his wife, who was murdered five years earlier. The record will appeal to jazz and fusion aficionados, but people who enjoy the jazzier side of hip-hop or downtempo electronic music should also give it a whirl. Cop a vinyl copy at bttrflyquintet.hilinemerch.com.
Shady Oaks Mad
This Denver band’s debut full-length opens with “3 a.m.,” a sputtering blast of fuzz rock, then slams into “Dazed,” another heavy guitar track, before slowing things down a bit — but not too much — with the twangy alternative rock of “Home.” Fuzz reigns supreme on this album, however, and the guitar work definitely takes inspiration cues from pedal board folks such as Jack White. It’s never derivative, though, and Loren Dorland’s grainy, road-worn vocals tie everything together. The music springs from familiar rock-and-roll tropes, but Shady Oaks has a fresh take. We look forward to hearing more.
Gritch was an indie/electro pop band that formed in Denver in 2006, released a couple of albums between 2008 and 2010, played across the city and then broke up in 2014. Luckily for us, the band has recently reformed, and has marked the occasion with a remix of its song “Distance.” The remix opens with an almost spooky line before blossoming into a piece of electro-pop magic. It’s both ethereal and dreamy. The band has a handful of other tracks up on Spotify, and the members say they're working on new material. Stay tuned.
Victim of Fire Disembrace
Denver’s Victim of Fire blends the D-beat subgenre of hardcore with crust punk and more than a little black metal. Buzzsaw guitars and vocal screeching compete for dominance across nine brutally heavy songs. The band finds a kindred sound in bands such as Tragedy, Martyrdod, Disfear, Black Breath and Trap Them. As much as Victim of Fire seems to be the band that welcomes you at the gates of hell, the songs are still pretty catchy. Just because a song has growling doesn't mean you can’t tap your foot to it while you sip your morning coffee. Cop the download, vinyl, cassette and CD at bandcamp.com.
The Runaway Grooms “Jenny”
The piano melody at the intro of the Runaway Grooms’ “Jenny” wouldn’t sound out of place at the end of Goodfellas, right after Henry Hill informs the audience, “I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.” From there, the Vail jam band kicks off about six minutes of classic-rock bliss that’s equal parts The Band and the Allman Brothers. Since the Runaway Grooms fall in that jam world, the live version of "Jenny" is probably 25 minutes long. Find out for yourself as the Grooms — having already shared the stage with Umphrey's McGee, Robben Ford, Leftover Salmon, Twiddle, Trombone Shorty and North Mississippi Allstars — are expected to tour heavily this coming year. Watch for the full-length, This Road, which comes out in February.
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