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Toil Like Devils, the Tarmints' fourth effort, is the musical equivalent of a James Ellroy novel: brutal, uncompromising in its artistic vision, and an unflinchingly honest exploration of the shadowy places of the human psyche. Music seething with such a palpable, exhilarating anger could easily come from dwelling on self-destructive emotions, but the Tarmints transmute negative expressions of passion into inspiration. "Bob Dylan Klebold" is a song for every misfit who ever wanted to deal a death blow to bullying idiots delusional enough to think that abuse and dehumanization have no consequences. When the eerie calm of "Scan and Move" is punctured by the cascading hysteria of shrieking guitars, it is the sound of terror at suddenly encountering the incarnation of ultimate evil in the dark. "I Do," a harrowing song about a failed marriage, closes the album with some of the most crashing, devastating song dynamics of the band's career. If Laughing Hyenas and Gun Club melded together, the results might resemble the vitality and sense of danger in the music of the Tarmints.

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.