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Various Artists

Here are two more in a long line of compilations meant to promote Denver-area punk rock. The only real surprise here is that more of these groups aren't better known. On Undead in Denver, almost every band sounds like some combination of X, Social Distortion or the Dwarves, which is great for anyone looking for a fix of solid, old-school American punk. Besides strong tracks from his own band, St. James Gate, compiler Timmy Gibb pitches in liner notes extolling the grassroots DIY ethic -- an ideal that, in an increasingly co-opted and corporate punk scene, can never be championed enough. Stayin' at Mike's strays a bit further from this formula, both in content and geography. The bands, whose music ranges from propulsive pop to edgy post-hardcore and whose members hail from Boulder, Albuquerque and points between, somehow manage to embody the same spirit as their Undead counterparts: one of independence, solidarity and four-chord fun. Buy both discs, support the cause and get turned on to some true, honest, Front Range punk.
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Jason Heller
Contact: Jason Heller