The Photo Atlas

Artifice Bar, Aug. 10

With a truck accident on Interstate 70 turning the Denver-based band’s drive to Las Vegas into an 18-hour odyssey that included sleeping in a Burger King parking lot, The Photo Atlas had plenty of pent-up energy to burn. Three straight dance-punk scorchers into the foursome’s set, singer/guitarist Alan Andrews finally exhaled, “We’re very happy to be out of the van.”

The Photo Atlas blistered the stage with their Gang of Four-meets-Fugazi style, rocking hard and fast enough for the guys to head-bang, but with enough rhythm to get the ladies in attendance bouncing around.

Andrews, resembling a young Trent Reznor with his black, side-swept hair and all-black ensemble of tank top and cutoffs, delivered his high-pitched, frantic vocals as if someone were threatening his freedom. He also channeled his inner Bono, engaging the crowd with some fervent hand-clapping during the first song, and later standing tall at the front of the stage to lead a fist-pumping “Hey!” chant.

Guitarist Bill Threlkeld’s rapid-fire, angular riffs only increased the songs’ anxious urgency, while Mark Hawkins attacked his bass with a ferocity that left him shaking out his right hand after a couple of songs. But it was birthday-celebrating drummer Joshua Taylor who kept the high-speed train on the tracks, pummeling his high-hat with lightning-speed precision, and flying recklessly around his kit without giving up the groove.

The band members left the stage exhausted and soaked in sweat following their 45-minute rhythmic assault—a cathartic release before they climbed back into the van and headed to the next night’s show. ★★★☆☆

Suggested Next Read

The Watch

Short Reviews

The Watch

By Tribune Media Services

(R) ★★☆☆☆ Ben Stiller plays a Costco manager in small-town Ohio who forms a neighborhood watch to track down the killer of a security guard found skinless inside the store. Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill provide backup, as does British actor Richard Ayoade, who’s the primary reason this movie isn’t entirely lame. This is no classic, but the formidable stars know how to muscle a script, any script, into giving up a few laughs.

DTLV

RunRebs

X
X