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Bright Channel
Self-Propelled
Flight Approved Records
www.flightapproved.com


For the record, there is nothing bright about Bright Channel. Self-Propelled plods along like the shuffling proletariats of Fritz Lang's Metropolis; just as gray and dreary with the same half-dead look in its eye. It is that same look of soul-stomping despair that forms the basis for the woeful guitars and beautifully frail vocals that uniquely identify this band. The gray and colorless packaging the CD comes in could only be less subtle if a razor blade had been taped to the back with a label reading: Use once, then discard.

My first introduction to this band was at SXSW this year, (yeah, I go to Austin to discover Denver bands) and my compatriot wanted their CD but was sans the necessary scratch to acquire one. With a smoothness and confidence I never knew I possessed, I conned them out of two copies of Self-Propelled; one for mi compadre, and one for review. Since then, they've become darlings of the local scene in a city that is seeing its own flourishing musical renaissance, and I've subsequently become enchanted with their aptly named "Charmour."

"Out of Focus" could draw the attention of some old The Cure fans, with a bass line and chord progression reminiscent of "Love Song." "Levitation" doesn't hold much interest for me, as its literally monotonous droning wears thin quickly. I mean, really, I can only handle so much unabated, sledgehammer-nihilism. "Disillusionist" has some indie-rock trappings and is about as uplifting as this album gets. Darkness is this band's forte; so much so that it makes the usual Goth Gloom seem as silly and hokey as The Crow II, or whatever unnecessary sequel they've gotten to now.

-JD

Track Listing:
1. Charmour
2. Disillusionist
3. Guardian
4. Howler
5. In the Red
6. Airborne
7. Silver Age
8. Self-Propelled
9. Out of Focus
10. Levitation
11. Intereception


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Mike Doughty



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