Calders Revolvers
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Calders Revolvers

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF
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"Calder's Revolvers put soul in their rock and roll"

There's a lot going on with the new Calder's Revolvers EP, but at the same time, it's incredibly simple. Recorded in vocalist Andy Schneieder's basement in the Highlands over the span of seven months, the four tracks on Black Bloc invoke heavy soul sympathies and prove their subtle pop potential while kicking dust in the face of the band's own garage-rock beginnings. You can call it soul revival, or you can just shelve it next to The Black Keys and call it good. The EP was supposed to be a full-length. In the end, though, the four brazen, brokedown jams that made it here are all that survived the attempt.

The quartet's drive to record their newest effort with a distinctly DIY aesthetic called for multiple basements, a seven-month stretch and several abandoned attempts at tracking before they finished Black Bloc. Each of the four remaining songs has been tracked and recorded more than once, Schneider says, and it took time for the guys to lay down the exact sound they hoped for. Between Black Bloc and their last EP, released one year ago, the guys took cues from Sharon Jones and Eli "Paperboy" Reed, but rehashing their own sound came with growing pains.

"We wanted to have a lot more control over what sound we were getting," Schneider notes. "We all came from bands that were heavier, rock 'n 'roll kind of bands, and we've started writing songs that are more pop-y and more soul throwback stuff. It's kind of hard to gel the two in a way that's not alarming for listeners."

The result was a trial-by-error process, with the errors being most of the material planned for what was initially supposed to be a full-length album. But while Calder's Revolvers tracked the songs for Black Bloc, they spent their downtime writing fifteen songs for its follow-up, which they promise will be a full album for real this time. The goal is to start tracking again later this month in order to release their third effort this summer.

"It's cool to play around with different arrangements, add things you wouldn't necessarily be able to play live, but the worst part is when you do that and realize it sucks," Schnedier says. "Coming up, we've got a lot of deep and rowdy summer jams. And we know a lot more about what we're doing now.

"I mean, we should."

The more interesting aspects of the band's musical transition come from their backgrounds: Schneider and guitarist Brad Johnson hail from The Archive, while drummer Sam Gault came from instrumental group We Are! We Are! (Schneider and bassist Cole Strain played in a ska band together back in school.) When the group first came together in 2009, what originally came out of their instruments sounded like a struggle to leave prog-rock behind, and their early sound lent itself easily to a sort of Queens of the Stone Age ambition settled firmly in the garage genre.

"We kind of flew by the seat of our pants," Schneider confesses. "And it was mostly us coming to terms with the fact that we had been in prog-rock outfits for so many years. As we've gone on, we've moved away from classic rock and closer to the soul side of things, but that makes it tough to find a niche in Denver."

Even the band's name is a mix of influences. In very garage-band style, it came from a T-shirt, one Schneider collected in college that sports an image of a mobile made from revolvers. They added that common noun to the proper noun of Alexander Calder, the man who created mobiles, and ended with a nom de sound Schneider happily calls "volatile."

But two EPs in, with a band name and a collective sound cemented, the guys still have trouble establishing their territory. The problem, Schneider says, is that it's a small one, a firmly retro rock niche carved between larger and more notable peers in the Colorado soundscape. The White Stripes and The Black Keys made the genre mainstream, but few bands are making it Denver.

"You don't see bands like that at the hi-dive," Schneider says. "When you're building a show, we don't fit in that well with the indie bands on line-ups, and we're not metal enough for the metal bands. There's definitely a lot of retro-sounding bands in Denver, but there should be more of us in the rock side of things. Or maybe fewer, now that I think about it." - http://blogs.westword.com/backbeat/


"Steal This Track: c.db.sn and Calder’s Revolvers"

Steal This Track: c.db.sn and Calder’s Revolvers
By Eryc Eyl | January 5th, 2012 | 1 Comment »
Chase Dobson is Denver-based experimental electronic act c.db.sn. Photo by Optimystic Arts.

Chase Dobson is Denver-based experimental electronic act c.db.sn. Photo by Optimystic Arts.

The new year is kicking off with a bang in the Colorado music community, with tons of high quality, original music already hitting the streets and the web. And lest anyone is still proceeding under the misconception that there’s such a thing as the “Denver sound,” this week’s Steal This Track brings you new music from two acts that couldn’t be more different. Read on to steal experimental electronic music from c.db.sn and dirty blues rock from Calder’s Revolvers. Never mind going to 11 — these bad boys go to 2012.

Chase Dobson, a.k.a. c.db.sn, started making music with guitars, synthesizer, samplers and a four-track recorder when he was just 14 years old. In 2006, he began to really focus on creating the original experimental electronic music that he would debut on his first full-length, “Into the Deep,” in 2008. Since then, Dobson has distinguished himself — as a DJ who helped anchor the wildly successful Lipgloss for several months, as a composer and producer who won accolades from the likes of notable electronic publication XLR8R, as a remixer (his take on Plastic Sound Supply), and as a backline audio engineer and Ableton wiz (his work supporting superstars Mike Posner and Dia Frampton of Meg & Dia will keep him touring the world for the next several months).

After all that, it’s a delight to hear c.db.sn stretching out for his second full-length album. “… At the End of It All,” released last month on Chicago electronic label Tympanik Audio, finds Dobson creating dense, textured sonics, rich in aural imagery. While “ambient” is likely to be the first adjective that jumps to mind, Dobson’s love of glitch hop, techno and bass music adds tension and drama that keeps the tracks far from the yawns that that adjective evokes. It’s a dynamic, captivating listen that has more in common with Tangerine Dream than with Skrillex. c.db.sn might surprise those who think contemporary electronic music is nothing but noise. Steal “A Silent Sea” for a teaser of what’s to come. Then go directly to the Tympanik Audio Bandcamp site to download the whole album for yourself.

Calder's Revolvers brings members of the Archive and We Are! We Are! together for some dirty blues rock. Photo courtesy of the band.

Calder's Revolvers brings members of the Archive and We Are! We Are! together for some dirty blues rock. Photo courtesy of the band.

And now, as the Monty Python boys used to say, for something completely different. It’s been nearly a year since we heard from grimy blues merchants in Calder’s Revolvers, but the quartet is back, releasing its second EP tomorrow night at the Larimer Lounge. It’s a pleasure to hear that the quartet of Andy Schneider and Brad Johnson (former members of the Archive), Sam Gault (formerly of We Are! We Are!) and Cole Strain hasn’t strayed too far from its greasy beginnings.

That’s not to say that “Black Bloc” doesn’t show some artistic growth from the band. In fact, there’s something in the foursome’s blend of gutter blues, garage rock and punk that sounds a little bit different this time out. The four tracks on the new EP (the band promises a full-length album is forthcoming) are somehow more refined, sophisticated and timeless than those on the first record, while still retaining the band’s signature filthiness. At the same time, the added sophistication takes away a little of the raw immediacy that made the band’s earlier recording so delightfully alarming. It’s something akin to comparing Mudhoney’s 21st century releases to its ’90s heyday. Still, the EP’s title track proves that this outfit knows how to get down and dirty. Steal “Black Bloc” and judge for yourself... - http://www.heyreverb.com


Discography

Calder's Revolvers S/T EP - Released in Jan of 2010 as an free download on CaldersRevolvers.com - The song "Fire" was featured on the Denver Post's online music blog HeyReverb.com as a 'Steal This Track'

Calder's Revolvers 'Black Bloc' EP - Release Jan of 2011. 'True To You' was featured on ZetaKaye House's 'Ain't No Cowtown' vol 3 and had the most unique plays of any track on the release. The song 'Directions' has been played on KTCL 93.3 as part of their 'Locals Only' show. The title track 'Black Bloc' was also featured on Reverb's 'Steal This Track'

Black Bloc can be streamed and downloaded for free at CaldersRevolvers.com

All of our music is also available at our band camp site: http://caldersrevolvers.bandcamp.com

Photos

Bio

Andy and Brad used to be in the band "The Archive" and Sam used to be in "We Are! We Are!" After We Are! We Are! broke up Andy approached Sam about being in The Archive. After about a year of spinning their wheels, The Archive dropped their bassist and started writing music more suited to the collective interests of the remaining members. Cole came on board in late December of 2009 and Calder's Revolvers was formed.
The bands sound has been ever evolving since we first got together. Rooted in punk rock and prog rock, the sound has changed towards a more bluesy R&B feel over the past year. Influenced heavily by the likes of The Black Keys, Eli "Paperboy" Reed and other modern blues rock outfits, Calder's brings a more traditional rock sound sound to the often abstract and 'hip indie' scene of Denver.