Barstool Messiah – Whiskey Baptismal

Queen City Sounds

By Tom Murphy
Published Issue 104, August 2022

On this latest offering from Barstool Messiah the band exemplifies a certain sound that one heard more of in Denver around 20 years ago, but more refined with perhaps melodic punk vocal choruses akin to that of The Fluid, the irreverence of Warlock Pinchers, and all filtered through a love of Detroit proto-punk and Motörhead. For half of the songs, the band brought on board legendary local blues and R&B singer Erica Brown to bring a brash soulfulness to the music that really pushes it beyond any obvious influences, even though there is that punk and hard rock attitude and energy crackling through every song. What may surprise someone listening to the music on the surface is the literary quality of the lyrics. Yes, there’s songs about drinking and hard living but there is a disarming level of sensitivity and awareness informing Nick Plumber’s words even when it sounds like he’s singing a song with the band that would be a good soundtrack for a bar brawl. At a time when a lot of hard rock is boring and predictable, Barstool Messiah is not.

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