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Various Artists – Adventure Records Cuvee 4

Yes, you could spend your free time searching through MySpace profiles for local music (the kind you want to actually listen to). But we’re lazy Americans, so screw that. Labels like Adventure and Public Service do our community a great service by doing all the work for us, leading with their heart and love for our local musicians. These labels are the two staples when it comes to local music compilations, spotlighting a barrel full of bands that we support in the clubs along with a few we’ve heard of but never “heard,” plus those that we never knew existed.

Now on their fourth installation Cuvee 4, Adventure is back again with 18 bands to tantalize your eardrums with a variety of musical styles that proves what an eclectic sound Denver and its surrounding areas has produced.


Cat-A-Tac provides the title track to their highly acclaimed 2007 full-length debut, Past Lies and Former Lives, curving with seductive sounds that make for great road trip music down a coast at sunset, clicking right along with “Taste Pedlar” by Breezy Porticos. Their label buddies Everything Absent or Distorted, known for their live shows as the running championship for most members in a band pull a subtle melody from a popular ‘50s hit on “Closer Than You Think.”

We all love to discover new music that ignites our passion, where we feel that rush of “OMG! Who is this? I want more!” moments. Many of us live for those moments, and mine came about after hearing “Outside, Looking In” from Goodbye Champion, which sunk into the cellular level of my being. The guitar lines, hook driven melody and subdued vocals drove me to their MySpace to check out other tracks from their 2006 E.P., Paper Boat. Lovely.

Speaking of lovely, Januar’s “Undertow” is flourishing with the sparkling sunshine of Amy Burbrick’s vocals (a track off of their second release, The Way Back Home), and the flowing dreaminess of Jonathan Byerley’s “Paint” would be perfect for a day with a tire swing hung low from a big oak tree.

When you feel the urge to dance a little jig, eyes closed and booty shakin’, turn to Rabbit Is A Sphere, Hot IQs, and the electro-jazz bump-along tune “Uniform” by StraC. Then slow it down to a laid back reggae groove with “Swing” via Mr. Anonymous. Or step back in time a bit with some cool psychedelia with a mod twist from deadbubbles’ “Zoo Kicker and I.”

Keep the trip rollin’, fly to “New York” with a languid, layered mode of A Shoreline Dream, or “ded 2 me” from sonnenblume, which would fit nicely into a laser light show soundtrack. Fall down the rabbit hole with a bubbling and subdued “At Last, Success,” by Blusom, which slowly builds from tweaks, drum taps and strings to a tribal chant from Africa.

As in the past, what you can expect from Adventure’s track mix is the unexpected, a serendipitous musical treat that not only entertains on so many levels, but spotlights our continually evolving and growing family of musicians that tap into every style of music, and creating a few new ones as well.


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