Music News

The Blackouts make bluesy hard rock exciting again

Many yawn-worthy bands have been inspired over the years by hard rock and metal from the '70s and '80s. But rest assured, there's nothing boring about The Blackouts (due on Friday, February 22, at Jugg'z Saloon). Oh, sure, the group dishes out plenty of covers. But that's what you do when you play your music in dive bars and places where you're expected to prove yourself to the audience. Ali Frankfurt has a raw vocal delivery that contains a surprising musicality; she and Kate Innes play guitar like they're on a huge stage alongside Angus Young. Hope Bertsch, meanwhile, hits the drums with a power, precision and creativity that recall Janet Weiss and Dan Peters. Susan Phelan's versatility on bass is pure rock and roll, but delivered with the finesse of a jazz player. The Blackouts do the impossible and make bluesy, punk-infused hard rock exciting again.

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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.