We Like Monsters is a Denver-based indie rock band that has built a sound and scene from the ground up. This young band draws on inspiration from contemporary pop-music in the vein of 70’s rock, 80’s post-punk, 90’s alternative, and the electronic dance wave of the millennium. They are not an imitation of those who came before, however; they’ve drawn on their collective influences and ventured forward into new territory. By experimenting with instrumentation and electronic sounds, pulling in elements of the avant garde, and drawing on each member’s strong musicianship, they’ve created a sound all their own.
Their unique sound has already caught the attention of music fans and tastemakers, including Denver radio personality Alf, who recently debuted "Secret Frequency" on the KTCL Locals Only show. With the release of their first music video for "Le Tigre", the band has proven that nothing is off-limits when it comes to their creative muse. Few artists would attempt to set an ode to self-deprecation to footage from an exuberant 1960’s Bollywood dance routine, but We Like Monsters pulls it off with style, and the end result is nothing short of intoxicating.
The history of the band is rooted in a nearly decade-long collaboration between veteran Colorado musicians Timothy White (vocals and keys) and Joe Crowley (guitar). The two began writing songs together as teenagers and maintained a creative partnership over the years. In their newest collaboration, Crowley weaves shadowy verses of rhythmic melodies that build to anthemic choruses. White seamlessly harmonizes on keys and cuts through the miasma with distinctive baritone vocals.
The duo is joined by native New Zealander Somchai Peri (bass) who brings a sharp rhythmic sense to the group. With roots in the DJ realm, his years behind the decks can be heard in the band’s infectiously danceable sound. We Like Monsters is rounded out by trigger-man and accomplished jazz performer, Brian Campbell (synthesizer, samples and trumpet) whose understanding of arrangement and improvisation pull the quartet’s varied skills together into a unified voice.
The band got their start in a deserted downtown factory turned state-of-the-art music studio and performance space. The aptly renamed Factory was renovated by White and Crowley, and repurposed as a haven for musicians and artists to create and collaborate. Part visual art gallery, part indoor skatepark and multimedia playground&emdash;stages, screens, speakers, cables and myriad instruments abound. If the Factory conjures up images of a Warholian-style artist collective, it should. Much like Warhol’s once was, this Factory is a breeding ground for new ideas and emerging talent. For months, the band sequestered themselves there to write, record and hone their sound; all the while gaining a steady following through impromptu, dynamic live performances. (Watch "Secret Frequency", live at The Factory). The birthplace of We Like Monsters speaks volumes to their identity as a band that’s motivated by reinvention and isn’t afraid to carve out their own place in the annals of pop culture.
As a group, We Like Monsters defies easy genre-categorization. The band’s songwriting blends pop sensibility with hard-hitting rock riffs and pulsing, dance-worthy beats. Each song is an elegantly crafted composition, layered with White’s lyrics that take journeys through heartache and redemption and go on flights of the imagination that land in unexpected places. The sound is accessible but hardly predictable, and with nods to Joy Division, LCD Soundsystem, the Gorillaz, Echo and the Bunnymen, and the Talking Heads, they aren’t afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves, but there is bold innovation waiting around every melodic turn.