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VARIOUS ARTISTS Dead Trees: Music for Christmas

On the third day of Christmas, Eden’s Watchtower gave to me: Three Sunfall Festivals! At two tracks apiece, Mo’-pop bands eat half of Dead Trees. But Summerhead’s hip-hop jam “In the Bleak Midwinter” and Theta Naught’s ambient-slowcore “God Rest Ye ...” are downright dope, ditto DulceSky’s (above) Smiths-en-Español “A Happy Christmas for a Sad Boy.” But most of this is decidedly un-wild oat-sowing from bands with singers bidding for summer gigs at Lagoon, honorary de Azevedo-hood or early entrance into the Choir. (

STILETTO Stilletto

On this three-song scratch of the cattiest grrrl-rock in town, not a single song passes the 2-1/2 minute mark—who said ladies weren’t into quickies? This is also some of the best SLC rockin,’ period. When singer Carri Wakefield sings “You’rrrrrre aaaaaa bitch!/a little beee-itch!,” she’s not PMS-ing—she’s pissed; fanged guitar and a feral rhythm section exude likewise. Wham. Bam. Thank you, ma’am(s). (


Hesh! There is so much crap metal in SLC that even an average metal band deserves the metal sign and a whip-crack banging of the head. Distant Vision either aren’t sure what they are (Blues metal? Grunge? OG thrash?) or are close to a rather palatable blend. It’s not top-shelf, but lyrical tune-ups (watch the clichés) and time ought to make them one of the more viable local metal bands. (


If local piano man Rich Wyman had a Marlboro habit, joined the Joe Cocker Tremor of the Month Club, and massaged his sentimental soul with sandpaper, he’d be Miles Crockett. This five-song debut, made with Crockett’s pals in Silvercrush, is erected on piano blues and soul, but rocks sufficient to coax the Bic from your pocket. And his burly, intimate songs are perfect for eating up road or sedentary barstool consumption of the self. (

ATHERTON Pale Summer

Roots-pop is fertile game here; the few bands (The Given, Dirty Birds, to a degree Hello Amsterdam) who play it have hit homers. Atherton keep the streak alive with Pale Summer ... mostly. About three-quarters of its 12 tracks are charming jangly-twangy pop tunes that coax that great, wistful-regretful, screw-this-town (whichever town that may be) feelin.’ A creeping sameness does slow things down at times, but once you’re familiar with the disc, the lulls are pleasant. (

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