Hi-Dive's One and Ten Year Anniversary

"The Hi-Dive is one of the most important new venues in town and the only place for hip new bands to be heard and seen. – Denver Post"

Bad Luck City

Bad Luck City hails from what has become the epicenter of dark roots music: Denver Colorado, and they do their hometown proud on their second realease "Adelaide". Despite Bad Luck City's americana roots they are an urban band. The songs feature tales of classic themes like naked girls and alcohol but the band's also troubled by traffic and the claustrophobia of shitty city apartments. Singer Dameon Merkl is haunted equally by monsters and mishaps, by nightmares and the petty bullshit of everyday living. Musically the band has crafted something that is at home with Hank Williams and Lee Hazelwood (they reinterpret his "The Night Before" as high-tragedy for the album's opener) as well as proto-goth and post-rock. Just when you think that the violin on "Adelaide" can't get any more sublime rough electric guitar thrusts its way to the forefront reminding that Bad Luck City is not a place to get comfortable. Merkl's vocals are laconic and sepulchral, not so much song as growled/droned/hissed out through broken teeth in a spoken (drunken) blues delivery that will bring comparisons to Nick Cave, but owes as much to Tom Waits and Jim Morrison. What makes this work is that Dameon is well aware that there's a fine line between menace and comedy... and he skillfully invokes both. When you couple Merkl's vocals with the twisted music of the band you end up with graveyard music. Not pretty, picturesque rural graveyards, but those overgrown, half-forgotten urban resting places that you have to get past barbed-wire to get to so that you can drink yourself unconscious on your friend's grave after sleeping with his widow. Bad Luck City is eulogy rock, epitaph rock. My only concern is that the band may be too good at what they do. The songs here a tight and the band works together wonderfully but I can't help wondering if they've played themselves into a corner. Perhaps they've perfected their particular sound too much and haven't left room for exploration and advancement. But that's a petty quibble and I think that Bad Luck City is well worth visiting, especially if you feel that "murder ballads" are just the starting point for dark music. -Sepiachord.com ..

The Royal is the brainchild of lead vocalist Tyler Hayden with percussionist Eric Marshall, guitarist Jack Schuler, bass guitarist Matt Clark and Nashville's Colby Rogers on piano and synth.

The Royal sound is loosely influenced by and/or a mix between Queen, Hall and Oates, The National , Muse, Roxy Music, The Smiths, ELO, The Boss (Bruce not Rick), Martin Grech, Long Pigs, Hudson Mohawke, Sparks, The Rapture, Cut Copy, Mr. Hudson, The Cars, The Presets, Prince and Denver bands.

Singer/songwriter Sampson has the kind of 3:00am voice
that's equal parts chain-smoke and liquid vicodin. The
enclosed EP displays a weariness that, thankfully,
does not inspire weariness in the listener, but
instills a welling sense of release. Laconic vocals
brush against guitars and banjos; simple melodies
belie a complex tension. In the world of Paloma,
cadence is a key instrument—weighed as heavy as the
strum of a weathered six-string.


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