Imperial Teen

Imperial Teen

There’s an imperial team in California, a gang of four whose magic number is now five. The fifth album by Imperial Teen, Feel the Sound, succeeds completely at its goal, plainly stated in the collection’s title. From the exhilarating, propulsive “Runaway,” which features the entire band on lead vocals (how many other groups can make that claim?), to the expansive final statement of “Overtaken,” Roddy Bottum, Lynn Perko Truell, Will Schwartz, and Jone Stebbins feel the sound themselves and, in turn, make the listener feel it in ways immediate and pleasurable but also lasting and haunting. Like the sharpest pop music, Feel the Sound gets you to keep coming back for more, but unlike so much music today, it rewards you for doing so, giving you the experience of a fulfilled and yet still yearning, lively potential, one that will be further realized when the songs are performed live.

Gold medal-caliber relay racing is one metaphor for the group’s approach to making Feel the Sound. Recording in bursts between busy stretches of daily life, Imperial Teen would take leave of songs and come back to them, bringing new perspectives and approaches to each incarnation; the result is an intuitive command and confidence so fully present that a track such as the richly dark “Over His Head” ends right when it seems ready to morph into yet another form of beauty. This is the rare group that not only can do such a thing but can afford to, because the next song brings another reward. Band members also share wordsmith duties, grabbing spoken phrases from each other and passing lyrics back and forth in a manner that allows songs to have more than one true meaning or story. Most of all, the collaborative spirit of the album—an Imperial Teen signature from the first notes of their theme song on 1996’s Seasick that has never been more potent and intense than today—yields a sound that feels classic and contemporary. A great vocalist once described singing as an act of being that is becoming, and on Feel the Sound, Imperial Teen become more vital than ever.

This is apparent in the energetic and abundant surface pleasures — the present-day prog pop keyboard touches, chugging rhythms, and neon-bright harmonies — of the eleven songs here. Anthemic and breathtaking, “All the Same” pays tribute to a fallen friend, while “Hanging About” effortlessly motors through a psychedelic landscape. Adding yet another layer to Feel the Sound’s title, the beat of “No Matter What You Say” is partly built from the band members drumming on their knees. ELO-like symphonic pop has become a touchstone for everyone from Justice to Cut Copy in recent years, but Feel the Sound makes it manifest through live instrumentation that possesses a Krautrock level of intuitive synchronicity and a desert island jukebox’s sense of fun. So many bands lose momentum and focus over time, but a little past its sweet sixteenth year of existence, Imperial Teen somehow grows both younger and wiser, connecting four characterful lives through creative friendship and deep trust, and forging a communal power that continues to grow stronger. Feel the sound of a one-of-a-kind group that’s never sounded more like itself.

The Lollygags 'EP Release'

Hailing from the Mile-High City The Lollygags play hook driven rock n roll with a garage rock spirit and a fondness for getting a little jammy every now and then.

After his band of 4 years Missing DuFrenes came to an end Denver native Jonathan Snyder spent his time lollygagging around slowly developing new songs and day dreaming about starting a new band. Something with the rawness of the Clash or the Replacements mixed with a dash of hippie vibes like the Black Crowes or My Morning Jacket. After over a year of writing and trying out musicians Jonathan got in touch with drummer and high school acquaintance Brian Zillis who recently moved back to Denver after finishing grad school at UPENN. In October of 2011 Jonathan and Brian got together in Brian’s parent’s basement to toss around some ideas on the batch of songs that Jonathan had been writing. The two quickly began meeting weekly and soon Brian’s pal, and former bass player of Denver jam rockers Frogs Gone Fishing, Travis Jones began showing up bringing his mighty “boom stick” with him.

With influences ranging across multiple decades and choruses and hooks that are sure to get stuck in your head the Lollygags have been winning over crowds and empty bars across the Denver metro area. Look for a series of singles to be released by the Lollygags this fall.

"The three members of the Baltic — all 15 and living in the Mile High vicinity — are making loud-as-hell shoegaze and power pop that blows the doors off records being put out by people of twice their age and experience. Though drummer Graham Epstein's dad was the publicist for IRS Records in its '80s heyday, the trio (rounded out by guitarist Jose Chalit and frontman/guitarist Adam Dankowski) draws inspiration from fuzzed out UK outfits like Chapterhouse and Ride, with a bit of punk energy thrown in." - Denver Post

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Imperial Teen with The Lollygags 'EP Release', the Baltic

Saturday, April 27 · Doors 8:30 PM / Show 9:30 PM at Hi-Dive

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