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 firstname.lastname@example.org.Y
Colorado darling Danielle Ate The Sandwich has been the talk of the town as of late in response to her involvement with an HBO film titled Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinsin. After establishing her fan base primarily through online activity Danielle Anderson has been extremely active in the Colorado music community as well as reaching new heights when asked to compose and perform the entire soundtrack to the release set for later this year on HBO. Recently-released Dance Club Thursday 2015 (one of several of Anderson’s Dance Club Thursday releases) offers extreme contrast between her usual MO which generally features simplistic and poignant ukulele and a stripped-down sound. Amidst the programmed drums and synth the electronically-inspired “Some Other Company” does share at least one feature: Anderson’s heavenly voice. If there is a lingering desire to be moved, catch her recent interview with CPR’s Ryan Warner.
Denver artist J. Mills releases sublimely experimental tracks under the moniker Snails and Oysters, the most recent of which titled It Was Only a Winter. “Nothing, No One” is the first track on the 10-play album and a great introduction to Mills’ style and artistic vision. While later tracks feature even more guitar-derived voices, “Nothing, No One” focuses on an acoustic instrumental treatment which gives direction to the wandering noise which makes up the auditory backdrop. It’s a bold musical style, but it pays off when done right as evidenced here. Each track is as mezmorizingly soothing, intellectually engaging, and inexperienced as the song before it and one can only wonder about the types of production techniques used to complete such a creative and interesting offering. Might be inaccessible to some, but since we aren’t talking about drugs it’s probably safe to say giving it a try can’t hurt.
Somebody and the Common Criminals have offered up “Fear is Crime” to the masses, a sort of indie/rock/soul/psychedelic mash-up sound-scape which features some pretty substantial efforts in the production department. From the vocal work to the rushing synth and basic percussion background every voice is heard, but what really makes the song are the distortion and compression effects used on the bass walk which seems to drive the track onwards as the two-and-a-half minutes progress. It’s a shame that “Fear is Crime” is the only collaboration on the books, it’s a unique track which offers great production value and a tantalizing look at what could be a very fruitful artistic partnership.
70’s rock mixed with classic doom metal, what’s NOT to love? Denver’s Dead Temple recently released Cult of Acid, the title track of which is shared here. There is a definite classic rock vibe that propels this offering to another level beyond what’s expected from the local metal scene. Solid vocal work, lengthy drum fills, and the Zeppelin-fueled guitar riffs all work in symphony to create what’s frankly a gosh-darn good time. Honestly, there’s not much else to say: this album rocks.
Percussion isn’t just something to throw into a musical track for body. More Than Physics showcases percussion in all aspects with the release of Predictions, an 11-song offering featuring amazing percussion tracks designed to enlighten us all about the uses of such powerful musical potential widely left untapped. Each song tells a story, and the stories are that much sweeter when it’s left to the imagination. Harmonic tones reverberate across the album, and there’s almost no way to pick a favorite track or even one to listen to in an isolated fashion. With song structures so interesting, and the rhythmic nature of percussion driving the sound it’s a completely novel and well-executed addition to Colorado’s vast musical landscape. “Voyager 1” is the second track on the album, but it’s an injustice to have it be the only track shared in this review.
It’s often said that when tackling a project “less is more” as to not over-complicate the final result. Helleborus must have heard this during the production of “Coils”, as the silence of the track is simply deafening. Nowadays the term “progressive” gets tossed around a lot, but Helleborus have outdone themselves with no less than five glorious minutes of silence (each minute progressively more silent than the minute before it). Alongside this ground-breaking offering Helleborus has published a lovely poem available to read on the track’s Bandcamp page. While many artists these days attempt to marry vocalized lyrical expression with the voices of musical instruments or computer-generated auditory voices, “Coils” goes outside of expectation by completely deconstructing the very essence of popular musical fads and offering a completely unique take on the term “audible”. Ground-breaking or computer glitch? YOU DECIDE!
NOTE: At the time of this review “Coils” was uploaded with a file error causing it to play only as silence. Look for the REAL review of “Coils” in an upcoming issue of Web Beat. We just couldn’t help ourselves!