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Townies bringing punk to Anarchy

Trinidad’s Townies are a punk rock band with one eye on the past and another on the future. This is music for those aging skateboarders who discovered classic punk rock via the “Repo Man” sound track or on left of the dial college radio stations, people who in 2023 still haven’t ditched the sounds that revved them in 1983. It’s also something for younger music lovers who think they were born too late – music for people who want something a little sloppy and underproduced, yet gloriously amped and aggressive.

Townies, who are Suzanne Magnuson on vocals, Ben Gallagher on bass, Fred Bohlander on drums and Curt Wallach on guitar, will perform Saturday at Anarchy Brewing Co.; also on the bill are local bands Acid Wrench and Neighborhood Skeletons.

“We’re some older, aging punk rockers,” Wallach said. “The first record that we had called ‘Meet the Townies’ was kind of a love letter to all the punk bands that we loved and sill love now: Fear, the Circle Jerks, X, The Avengers and a lot of cool, West Coast punk bands. You can pick out the songs in there and say ‘oh, this is where they rip off this band, and this is where they rip off that band.’ It was that kind of record; the new EP is I think more indicative of our own unique sound.”

If you go

WHAT: Townies, Acid Wrench, Neighborhood Skeletons.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Anarchy Brewing, 225 East Eighth Ave.

TICKETS: $10 at door.

MORE INFORMATION: Call 422-8088.

That new EP, titled “Revolver,” doesn’t stray too far from the well-loved formula of power chords and distortion. With the gritty and powerful vocals of Magnuson, backed by the other members’ aggressive and charging garage rock, the music nods to the roots of American punk and hardcore while also remaining quite catchy and ripe for screaming along. It’s great.

It’s also something the small town of Trinidad was ready for. Both Wallach and Magnuson had moved to Trinidad from Denver, opening the venue The Trinidad Lounge in 2021. They quickly found pockets of people who wanted something more than your basic, blues based, cover-heavy bar bands.

“It’s an interesting little music environment here, that they like the weird. When we first opened the venue we really stuck to playing Americana and having bands in that we cut the edge off, not offering the taste we gravitated toward,” Magnuson said. “But as soon as we started bringing in other stuff, people lost their minds. It was like ‘OK, they want this.’ We’re doing them a disservice by not providing something a little bit stranger. So, the metal bands, the punk stuff has gone over really well. All walks of life, age, background. Then people here are really experimenting, people in town are playing new kinds of music. They’re willing to put it out there now they see that its accepted.”

It’s that diversity that fosters a solid music scene, much like what goes on here in Durango. It’s a big world out there with varied, under-the-radar music being made in big and small towns alike; anyone who makes the statement “no good music has been made since (insert year here)” just isn’t looking or listening very hard.

As venue owners, show promoters and musicians, Townies are proving that you can nod to the yesterday while also making killer music today.

“I do think that when we talk about this stuff, sometimes we fall into talk about ‘punk isn’t as good as it used to be,’ which is totally not true. I love what punk has morphed into today,” Wallach said.

“It’s a natural evolution of sound. I never want to fall into that curmudgeonly ‘the only good music was when I was a kid’ thing,” Magnuson added. “There’s cool stuff happening all the time.”

Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at liggett_b@fortlewis.edu.