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We groan at the idea that people outside of the Gem State might only know us for tubers and racists, but even within our ranks we don't always recognize the quality and variety of music being produced here. So, Boise Weekly cobbled together a shortlist of CDs that are out--and a few that will be out in the very near future--that we think are examples of the sounds of this city. Some are by musicians you may know, some are by acts you've never heard of but all are a part of Boise's vibrant music scene. And not one of them is a spud.
Demoni: Dawn of Demoni
Late last year, psychobilly trio Demoni released Dawn of Demoni (P.I.G. Records), 21 tracks of fast-paced rock that howls from the dark side. With a hint of Motorhead and a modicum of The Misfits, the album is a nod to horror films, their makers and their stars. Sam Raimi's Evil Dead and John Carpenter's In The Mouth of Madness serve as inspiration; George Romero and his zombies make a strong showing; and the devil, the Mummy, the Wolfman and even the Fly all get a shout out. The ripping melodic surf guitar on the Dawn of Demoni tracks come courtesy of frontman Andy Agenbroad, who you may know from Gig's Music. He gets kudos for the high production value on this album, which was recorded, mixed and mastered at his Projectseven Studios.
More information is available at myspace.com/demonipsycho.
Fury of the Cyclops: The Chronicle
Speaking of a monster concept CD, local band Fury of the Cyclops delivered The Chronicles (1332 Records). Fury rose from the ashes of zombie-punk-country band Wilson St. Pub and Sluthouse Band with Byl Kravetz on vocals and Khalil Linane on guitar. The Cyclops, a mythical a one-eyed creature, fights his way across The Chronicles, tackling the Minotaur in "Cyclops vs. Minotaur," the Kraken in "Cylcops vs. Kraken," the Romans in ... you get the idea ... as well as zombies and even a unicorn. The songs move at a short clip, as bruising guitar and Kravetz's hoarse yell battle for the Cyclops' supremacy.
For more information, visit myspace.com/furyofthecyclops.
Neo Tundra Cowboy: Deserted Dull Plain
Taking it down a notch, electro-acoustic country-Americana group Neo Tundra Cowboy recently put out their second release, Deserted Dull Plain (Club Caboose Records). Slow guitar, banjo, harmonica and Christopher Thompson's reedy vocals slide down country roads and kick up their heels at swing dances. The CD has a raw vibe with restarts, re-stops, hitches and glitches something Christopher Thompson, the Neo Tundra Cowboy himself, did intentionally. "I like that low-fi style recording," he said.
The CD is available at Record Exchange now, and Neo Tundra Cowboy is having a CD release party on Saturday, May 22, at The Plank.
More information is available at myspace.com/neotundracowboy.
Fauxbois: Carry on
Carry On (Spark & Shine Records), the debut release by Fauxbois--brainchild of former principal of Mayerforce One Academy of Arts and Sciences Brian Mayer--has a very real chance of finding some serious traction. On Carry On, Mayer does carry on in the tradition of well-crafted indie rock and he's not afraid to let songs wander in one direction before pulling them back and pushing them off in another. Soft acoustic guitar riffs and a chorus of voices wrap their arms around melancholy lyrics anchored by Mayer's sweet and bittersweet vocals.
Carry On is going to be one of those "remember when" CDs: "Remember when we took that road trip and I played 'Ghosts and Fireflies' over and over? I loved that trip."
Local artist Erin Cunningham designed the CD cover, and a number of local luminaries pitched in on Carry On with their own talents, including Lisa Simpson, Grant Olsen, Heather Bauer, Blake Green and producer Tristan Andreas to name but a few.
Fauxbois celebrates Carry On on Saturday, May 15, at Visual Arts Collective.
For more information, visit myspace.com/fauxboisidaho.
Also out is the debut from Alter, the alter-ego of PussyGutt's Blake Green. While Green doesn't completely let go of PussyGutt's doom and gloom, Alter's debut Dusk-Dawn has a slightly more chimerical bent. Though the album contains only two tracks--"Dusk" and "Dawn"--and is mostly sans vocals, calling it atmospheric won't do.
"It's been called Western romantic doom," Green said. "It's like funeral doom meets Julee Cruise meets Twin Peaks."
The CD is available for free download and Green is going to debut Alter live on Friday, May 14, at Visual Arts Collective.
For more information or to download, Dusk-Dawn, visit wolvserpent.blogspot.com.
Matt Hopper: Jersey Finger
>Matt Hopper is wrapping up production on his fifth release, Jersey Finger, which contains both new tunes and some reimagined old ones. It's an addictive collection of rock and pop with a little Americana thrown in and, like Mayer's album, Jersey Finger is anchored by vocals--Hopper has a flair for the falsetto. That ability along with Hopper's songwriting and arrangement skills are highlighted on Jersey Finger, which should be waggling in people's faces by June.
For more information, visit matthopper.com.
Demoni at Liquid