The Blue Rider‘s debut EP, Way Out West, is only two songs. That might actually make it a single rather than an EP, but that’s all semantics. Whatever you call it, it’s exciting. With just two songs this band gets you totally hooked.

Imagine a drunken Buddy Holly stumbling around a barroom after one too many whiskeys picking a fight with a much bigger man and getting his trademark glasses broken, but still managing to connect with a few powerful shots to the gut that no one saw coming. That’s basically what The Blue Rider sounds like.

The quartet delivers a wicked slice of garage rock with noisy guitars, raucous drums and a nice hum of electric organ. Vocals are as much screeched as they are delivered with a classic ’50s-style hiccup.

On the A-side, “T.H.T.D.” (short for Too Hip To Dance) kicks things off with a Bo Diddley bounce and lo-fi sleaze. It’s fun, and is as much about shaking hips as banging heads. It takes a sharp turn and morphs into a slow-burning tune about teaching a cockroach to sing… or something. It gets weird, but the groove is thick.

This is followed up by the high-intensity title track. A rock ‘n’ roll punch in the mouth with sizzling organ and gritty guitar solo. It’s got that same old school vibe mixed around with some sloppy punk rock roots. It’s fast, it’s loud, and it’s over before you know it.

After blasting through these two tracks you’ll probably be wishing there was more to Way Out West. Fortunately you can catch the band performing live Aug. 25 at the Hi-Dive in support of the EP’s release on beautiful vinyl. The lineup also includes local heavyweights A. Tom Collins and Colfax Speed Queen. So get there early for a night of great music and most assuredly drunken antics.


Matt Pusatory is a music blogger for 303 Magazine. He previously worked at A.V. Club Denver with additional writings floating around the interweb. He probably drinks too much coffee.