It was during the farewell interview with Black Black Ocean that Stephen Tills informed me of Roper, a mere twinkle in the eye at the time. It was bittersweet to know that at least part of the party was going to carry on.
Roper now makes up different pieces of Denver’s musical pie, including Reese Roper of Five Iron Frenzy and Stephen’s brother Jonathan, who was in BBO at one time. They’ve also corralled Joathan Byrnside (lead guitar) and Nick White (drums) from the Bay Area outfit Divit, making this a barrel full of punk rock monkeys ready to kick out the jams and the peanut butter.
Given their combined years of touring and music making, this latest development gives us the punk we knew and loved before TRL and the Warped Tour commercialism. Like the car they feature in the CD’s cover artwork: this is classic American machinery through and through, from the way you run your fingers across the hood to the shiver you get as the engine rumbles.
Aside from the self deprecating title and choice of Roper URL www.roperisdumb.com, (which is just part of their penchant for cynical humor), Brace Yourself… breaks the clouds with searing sunshine where sunglasses are needed even in the dark. Reese and his monosynth are just sweet enough with the soda pop without causing the sugar overdose so many bands push in our low carb society. Lyrical overtones tell our city’s tale, from what could be any night in Capitol Hill (Quicksliver), the Bluebird (You’re With Stupid), or on stage (Amplify). They slip a bit of Clashi-ish reggae saunter into the mix (Red Eye To Miami) and pay homage to the good ole days when life was simple and new (1985).
I just wish I had that classic convertible and Roper came in 8-track…I’d blast this puppy with the top down all the way down Colfax.
5 Minute Walk Records