Thank the heavens for unexpected surprises. The latest in what seems to be a monthly occurrence is the Denver band The Epilogues. On their sophomore full-length Cinematics the band makes a case that they may be the band to watch in 2013. If the enveloping and inviting album opener “The Shadow King,” does not hook you, then perhaps the methodical and sweeping “Call Me a Mistake,” will. From start to finish, Cinematics is accentuated by bursting guitars, thunderous drums and a rousing concoction of drama, swagger and tenacity.
Vocalist Chris Heckman croons with both effortlessness and a steadiness that seems to point towards larger tours in stadiums and amphitheaters. Heckman is flanked by a can’t miss rhythm section of Jason Hoke (drums) and Jeff Swoboda (bass), who along with Nate Hammond (keys) craft saturnine and sweeping masterpieces. On the disc’s first half there’s the buzzy and Brit-inspired “My Misinformed John Hughes Teenage Youth,” the busting and taut “Hunting Season,” and the explosive fireball that is “Paradigm Shift.” Nestled in between is an elegiac minute-long ballad in which Heckman showcases his world-class vocals and offers up further proof that the band is indeed the farthest thing from a pretender.
Cinematics’ second half comes out swinging with the stormy siren “Closer,” the propulsive “Animals,” and the gripping “The Fallout.” Around the two-minute mark in “The Fallout,” there’s a palpable sense that this disc was not just written for themselves, but rather with a wider audience in mind. The celestial title track is a near-three minute instrumental that serves as a fitting conclusion for “The Fallout,” and an even better segue for the near seven-minute ballad “The Keene Act.”
And it is here in this leave-it-all-on-the-table juggernaut that The Epilogues make arguably their strongest statement to date. Though there have been many moments thus far that have left one wanting more, nowhere is that more felt than on the layered beauty of “The Keene Act.” The album finishes with the stark piano instrumental “The Wondrous World of Will Dupree,” which segues into the expertly crafted “Saboteur.” Much like “The Fallout,” “Closer,” “Hunting Season,” and “The Shadow King,” it is the sound of a band setting themselves apart and proving their worth in just forty six engrossing minutes.
From front to back, Cinematics as a whole has a visceral and guttural pull towards gravity that rivals their contemporaries. And it is that very trait that sets this Colorado band apart.
Quite honestly, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Keep it locked on 88.1 The ‘Burg to hear brand new music from the latest The Epilogues album, Cinematics.
Click the titles below to hear our favorite tracks.