Traditional wisdom states that trends tend to cycle through every twenty years. Inevitably, the 90s will be coming back. The return of beards and flannel seems to support this assertion, cementing the frightening plausibility of 90s nights with cover bands rattling off Blackstreet, Len, and the New Radicals to crowds decked out in Nickelodeon tshirts.
Fortunately, the 90s are coming back in far more interesting ways as well. 90s emo and math rock, generally the territory of cigarette smoking cool older brothers, has seen a refreshing return to prominence in Colorado’s music scene. One exciting new band that fits this mold is Fort Collins’ Old Sport.
Old Sport’s latest, a split with Street Justice, features five songs that alternate between melodic hardcore, old school emo, and heavy math rock. Shorter songs like “Lailah” and “Pearl Jam” radiate with the energy of Fugazi or Jawbreaker – with the band’s vocals specifically calling back to Ian Mackaye’s best days. The lyrics are simple, but delivered with a passion and earnestness that add wight to the already heavy hooks that characterizes the band’s sound. Old Sport can also maintain a slow burn with longer songs like “Stone Temple.” The song features a slow build up reminiscent of Texas is the Reason or Sunny Day Real Estate. All of these songs are highlighted by riffs and breakdowns characteristic of 90s math rock, with musicianship strong enough to set them apart from other alternative rock.
While Old Sport harkens back to the best of 90s alternative rock, they manage to maintain a fresh and interesting sound that is uniquely their own. With engaging music and an energetic live show – Old Sport is a band to look out for on concert bills around town.