Sep 172008
 
Authors: Nick Scheidis

If you don’t know about The Epilogues, you no longer have an excuse.

They have, after all, been steadily rising in the ranks of the Denver music scene with a unique brand of danceable synth-emo for the last year.

The band played at the Aggie last week, and their bass player, Jeff Swoboda, is a former Fort Collins resident. Recently, the quartet has been interviewed by both CTV, the campus TV station, and KCSU 90.5 FM, the campus radio station.

But if you need more reasons why you should know The Epilogues, just listen to their new, debut EP: “The Beautiful, The Terrifying.”

For that matter, just listen to the first track. “King Arthur” starts the party off right with a killer beat and one of the EP’s most irresistible synth-lines. The only question is whether you should get your groove on or cut yourself in time to the catchy-but-anguished chorus: “I’m still alive / but I can’t let go of this pain inside / so just let me out.”

The lyrics of “The Beautiful, The Terrifying” give the impression that lead singer and guitarist Chris Heckman has just broken up with his last seven girlfriends consecutively before writing. But they are also surprisingly well crafted. Take this line, for instance, from “Hurting You”: “I’m breaking this down for you / But I’m breaking down here too.”

OK, so maybe it’s a tad cheesy. But it’s easy to want to sing along to the words when they are bathed in a tidal wave of sound that includes layered vocals, soaring synth, clean guitar and an understated but highly effective rhythm section.

The end result sounds something like American New Wave music melded with contemporary sensibilities.

This combination works to greatest effect with “On The Radio.” The song builds a head of steam with a percolating electronic beat reminiscent of The Postal Service for over two minutes before exploding into a synth-heavy chorus that could have come from straight out of the ’80’s.

The tune also serves as a showcase for Heckman’s superb vocal delivery. By walking the line between torment and restraint, he lends “On The Radio” its urgent, vital energy.

There is certainly no shortage of energy on “The Beautiful, The Terrifying.” However the EP is bogged down by the fact that all of the songs consist of approximately the same tempo, mood and aesthetic. It doesn’t help that the recording quality is just a step below professional, rendering some segments a little muddy.

But these are small problems on an EP that shows big promise. If “The Beautiful, The Terrifying” is any indication, this probably won’t be the last time you hear about The Epilogues.

Staff writer Nick Scheidies can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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