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
5. In the Red
7. Silver Age
9. Out of Focus
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