Cowboy Indian Bear is a superb new Lawrence band featuring former Jen Say Kwahs frontman Marty Hillard along with ex-Kennedy Luck Clubbers C.J. Calhoun and Beau Bruns. Picking up where those bands left off, CIB composes deft and brainy indie pop with party-down beats and lots of melodic left turns. Points of reference include Death Cab and Architecture in Helsinki, but these dudes are digging deep into the well to come up with something fresh.
Rather than resorting to retro reverence, Roman Numerals embrace creative revisionism: the sound of the past informed by the future, as if Big Black had visited early-'80s era Gang of Four in a vision, or if the ghost of Fugazi had haunted Modern English. The Kansas City band is earning a dedicated following thanks to its incendiary live sets, which promise plenty of get-off-yer-seat-and-hustle rock from fomer members of Season to Risk and Shiner.
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