In its awkward early phase, it was hard to tell if Six Months to Live (due at the Meadowlark on Saturday, November 14) was an Eric Clapton parody or the real thing. The bizarre publicity photos (see above) that made the band look like the star students of a multi-level marketing/real-estate seminar didn't help, either. Once this four-piece finally cohered, though, you would have been hard-pressed to find a more engaging band writing more well-crafted pop songs in and around Denver. Not really following musical trends, local or otherwise, paid off for these guys in a catalogue of great songs found on their debut album, This Is What Happens. At turns Beatles-esque and funky in a way that emphasizes expressive musicianship over gaudy technique, the album is also regrettably the band's swan song, as is this final show celebrating its release.