A lot of School Knights early output was distinguished by walls of reverb, sounding more like an underwater recording of whales playing guitars than actual rock music. But on its newest record, the Boulder-based act has managed to blend the wall-pinged vocals with straight up guitar riffs to deliver a remarkably solid and fun record. All Dawgz Go 2 Heaven isn't going to save you from King Gator, but you can hear the young blood pouring out of every track.
It's pretty easy to spot the influences of School Knights, but between every Vivian Girls or Times New Viking riff, you can tell the band knows the roots of what's its aping, which is to say All Dawgz Go 2 Heaven owes as much to Jesus and Mary Chain as it does to a scuffed up Beach Boys record. Just listen to the fifth track, "Fuck the Beach," if you need any indication of how the band composites it all together.
There is a decidedly snarky vocal vibe that carries through the whole record, too. It's more punk than you'd probably expect from the group, which is especially evident on tracks like "Ghost Kid," where the snarl comes through the recording in full view. There's a solid edge to the often lost-in-fuzz guitar licks, and the sound gets filled out here more in general, actually, with a full four-piece instead of just two on a good amount of the albums new tracks (a few appeared on the bands split with Pacific Pride).
More importantly than anything, this record is fun to listen to. It makes us wish it had come out closer to the beginning of summer, because it feels like a kickass city driving soundtrack. Check it out and download it below, or if you feel like donating to the band, purchase a copy from Bandcamp.
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.