1. The Yawpers
The Yawpers represent everything raw in American music, baiting the listener with stripped-down acoustic rock before locking them in and knocking them out with a one-two punch of free-range Americana and a blue-collar punk attitude.
At first you are reminded of Dylan, with Palmer’s raspy vocal patterns and populist lyricism. But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that Palmer’s prose, among a blend of folk and rock, is as imaginative as it is relatable.
Bagpipes and punk rock go together like cold beer and peanuts. This theory holds true even for the Potato Pirates, who eschew the traditional Celtic reference of bands like Dropkick Murphys and the Real McKenzies for the street and ska influence of SoCal punk — throwing the pipes on top of the upstrokes and power chords for a bit of added flair.
When they aren’t busy wowing the nation on Jimmy Kimmel and Conan, Nathaniel and his crew are breaking the mold on the influence that the indie-folk genre is having in the modern mainstream. The Mile High City has no shortage of scarf wearing, bespectacled indie rockers and Nathaniel Rateliff has proved that a bit of extra twang can go a long way in holding their own.
5. Red Fox Run
They have emerged from Denver’s burgeoning alt-rock scene as one of this year’s fastest risers. Red Fox Run adds a bit of expressive and dirty modern rock into the hipster-indie mix to create a radio-friendly sound that has appeal across genre lines and is attracting a fan base to match.
6. Lola Black
There are dozens of hard rock bands in this city, but none have the dramatic stage presence of Lola Black. Their live performances symbolize what rock and roll has always been about — over-the-top lewdness, raw emotion, and, of course, lots and lots of partying.
He’s got the stylistic appeal of Atmosphere and the rawness of Eminem. Often working alongside a DJ named Broken, Input has brought some attention to the often overlooked Mile High hip-hop scene.
Watching Kronen live is like watching a jam band leading a circus- models, guest musicians, and well-manicured dramatic effects are making this sibling-led band a must-see around the Front Range.