Web Beat: Whiskey Autumn, Helleborus (again), GAWTBASS, David Tipton, Glowing House and Motion Trap

Published on: April 10th, 2015

Yellow Scene prides itself on being hyper-local, and that includes music. We want to make sure that as many local bands, DJs, MCs, etc as possible get the press that they deserve, so Web Beat will be a weekly online column going forward. Every week, we’ll check into Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and whatever else we can find, and listen to the latest tunes from local artists. If you have hints and tips for us, email editorial@yellowscene.com.Y

Boulder’s Whiskey Autumn recently released Call You Mine, their newest four-track EP featuring the self-described “indie doo-wop rock power trio” in a bit of a departure from their previous sound (but not TOO much). “Turn the Key (Let it Roll)” closes out the album, and is a fantastically-produced introduction to the group. The money-maker here is quite frankly the perfect vocal production in which harmonies ebb and flow with the music backing them, giving the distinct impression that they are not just the focus of Whiskey Autumn’s artistic expression but an integral part of the instrumentation. Strumming guitar, stripped-down drum-set, organ accent, and solid bass walk fully compliment the group’s harmonization and listening to the track allows for a complete visualization of the band playing live in one of BoCo’s many indie-centric small-time venues. “Turn the Key (Let it Roll)” is only one look at the group’s new-found sound, just try listening to all four tracks without falling in love… Impossible!

Last week when we saw Helleborus’ “Coils” uploaded to bandcamp with a major error a tongue-and-cheek review was simply unavoidable. The band took it in good fun, and since then have re-uploaded the track for all to hear and we figured a proper review was in order. The Manitou Springs duo Jerred and Wyatt Houseman work in the realm of psychedelic black metal and “Coils” focuses on providing a trademark progressive look at all the usual suspects found in black metal: occult, mysticism, death, and love. While online versions feature a less-pronounced guitar production (bitrate issues I suppose) the progressive nature of the track cannot be denied with the duo producing a wide range of guitar parts throughout the piece. Percussion work plays spotlight through the rolling double bass signature to most progressive pieces regardless of genre and the vocal work can only be described with one word: “Demonic”.

You ain’t ever heard dubstep like Boulder-based GAWTBASS’ newly-released “Ghost Town”, an awesomely-unique atmospheric excursion into electronic music production. With all the familiar dubstep structural cues, “Ghost Town” features much much more to the tune of fantastic instrumental sampling which creates a completely-Colorado sounding look at the genre. While much of GAWTBASS’ work contains these sort of western-cued production values, “Ghost Town” is far and beyond the most complete example of Graham Gawthorpe could be capable of producing. Completely novel, completely unique, and completely cool this track just begs to be heard on the big stage. “Ghost Town” being the best shouldn’t dissuade from listening to any other GAWTBASS tracks, rather it’s a testament to the fact that it’s just THAT good.

David Tipton hails from Salida and presents Elevation, an album featuring instrumental compositions designed for and performed on the Chapman Stick, a 12-string electric “guitar-themed” voice capable of producing simultaneously the parts of melody, bass, and everything in between. It’s unique flavor comes in the form factor, where frets are tapped rather than strummed like other members of the guitar family and Tipton is clearly an expert when it comes to coaxing every last bit out of The Stick. The title track from the album is a slowly-moving melodic masterpiece, a calming and intellectually-stimulating look at the world of The Stick with Tipton providing melodic discourse and cords which work to outline the beauty of this under-represented instrument.

Denver-based folk-rockers Glowing House are pairing comic with music with the release of Loud and Clear, a B-side EP featuring three “murder ballads”, each telling stories of crime and yes, the m-word. What’s especially cool is that alongside the music, fans who buy will receive an original 14-page comic book which illustrates the story of the title track within it’s print (OK, Glowing House… please send US a copy of the book!). It’s all the better this way, as “Loud and Clear” is an extremely visual tale featuring a couple of thieves faced with tough decisions, and seemingly a realization of regret. The blues-heavy guitar work paints a beautiful picture with organ, bass, and drums all playing part to complete the ensemble. The duo claim to be “lyric-lovers” and it shows, the storytelling is strong here and hopefully they’ll hear our plea to send a copy our way (or at least put the art up online for viewing).

It’s digital-done-live with Motion Trap, the Denver dance-centric four-piece with a serious nod towards the vocal work of Anthony Keidis and the bass work of Flea in their new single “Freshstart” featuring New York-based lyricist Turner Jackson. Jackson wants nothing more than for “everybody (to) get down” and Motion Trap makes it easy with their unique blend of live instrumental and electronic treatment. “Freshstart” is the first of nine songs to be released from the album palebluedot which becomes fully available May 5th. The full Motion Trap experience can be taken in the following weeks at their May 15th CD release party at Lost Lake in Denver. From drums to click, guitar to bass, synth to backup vocals Motion Trap compliments Jackson’s style to a T and this track sets the stage for what should be another stellar addition to Colorado’s music sound-scape.

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