Kingman Brewster – Kingman Brewster With their self-titled debut, local hybrid outfit Kingman Brewster set out to show that rap-metal can still work, but results are mixed. To KB’s credit, theirs is a gritty, guitar-laden sound closer to vintage Rage Against the Machine than the genre’s lesser artists. Veteran MC Nonsense brings a commanding presence and a number of solid verses; none better than on “My Mind’s Playing Tricks.” But more often than not, […]

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Owner of Avogadro’s Number Made Healthy Switch from Ice Cream to Independent Music

By Conor Hooley Part bar, part restaurant, part music venue; Fort Collins’ Avogadro’s Number has operated for four decades just south of Old Town – becoming a linchpin of the local music scene. Since 1980, it has been under the care of one Rob Osborne, a man who came into ownership of Avo’s thanks to…ice cream. It’s true. Osborne spent the latter half of the 1970s running a Mountain High […]

Language Love – Amor Creador The cosmic side of bass music is where Amor Creador takes place, a ten-track trip of druggy, psychedelic glitch-hop. Less concerned with dance floor appeal than creating an ethereal aesthetic, Language Love laces most of the tunes here with otherworldly synths and exotic samples undercut by the obligatory bits of wobble. At best, you get the sitar-laced funk of “Dream Space” and the subterranean intensity of “Crush.” At worst? […]

Wasteland Hop – Mother Acre

By Conor Hooley Dystopia’s at the doorstep all over again. Packed full of bleak moods and visceral lyricism, Mother Acre is a thoroughly apoplectic debut for this fledgling, five-piece, live hip-hop group. The fate of the six-song disc ultimately falls to frontman MC Mickey Kenny, who resides somewhere between Sage Francis and Saul Williams on the spectrum of poet/rapper hybrids. Impressively, his lyrical acumen proves to be worthy of […]

Qbala – My State of Dementia

By Conor Hooley First impressions aren’t everything. Although My State of Dementia begins jarringly with two songs that should never have made it past the cutting room floor, Qbala finds her footing toward the middle, delivering a handful of solid tracks one after the other. The jazzy beats found on “Lust” and “Smooth Transitions” suit Qbala best, and she in turn delivers confident, cutting rhymes with a winning combination […]

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Kingman Brewster: Creating Fake Parties & Real Buzz

By Conor Hooley Kingman Brewster is certainly not afraid to be brash. The six-piece, self-styled rap-rock outfit (named after one of Yale’s most visionary – and incendiary – presidents) is making itself known in style. Following the release of a five-track EP, Brewster placed third at Scene’s 20th Annual Battle of the Bands, finalized a full length debut album and got its Twitter account suspended for promoting a fake New […]

Sal D. – My Fate Has Been Adjusted

By Conor Hooley My Fate Has Been Adjusted is Sal D’s would-be ticket out of Fort Collins. He says so himself: “I’m trying to move to New York to spread my music… That’s why I recorded My Fate Has Been Adjusted, so I can have a professional album to take down there.” That’s nice and all, yet My Fate is very much an amateur’s work: occasional flashes of brilliance mired […]

By Conor Hooley Leading up to their sophomore release, Crazy As It Seems, local rappers Diverge and Ethix decided to expand their duo into a trio, bringing vocalist Natalie Ray into the fold and christening the new outfit DnE. And, yes, one might see an inherent Fergie/Black Eyed Peas parallel there, but fret not – in this case, it worked for the better. And this stellar, eight-track maxi-EP is proof. […]

Aklock – 8 Years and Running

By Conor Hooley We all have our limits. Rappers are no different. But in hip-hop, for better or worse, “limited” is far from a death sentence (see: Too Short’s entire career). Of course, sometimes it is. And Aklock’s 8 Years and Running is a thoroughly limited product, where bland rhymes and basic beats conspire to test the limits of your attention span. Aklock’s best quality as a rapper is his […]

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More than Music: Local Imprints Defy Conventional Labels

By Conor Hooley Who would run a record label in these times? From a business standpoint, it defies logic. Anyone with even a vague understanding of the music industry knows that it has been locked into a state of perpetual decline. Less people are buying music than ever, and things have never looked bleaker than in 2011. And yet, a myriad of independent labels are keeping their heads above water […]