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Foreign Films

After earning fans in Europe, The Films look to win over their own countrymen

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Fedoras, blazers, shirts with no sleeves and fauxhawk - mullets? I dunno, these guys look pretty European to us - ...
  • Fedoras, blazers, shirts with no sleeves and fauxhawk mullets? I dunno, these guys look pretty European to us ...

M ike Trent just dropped the Europe line.

Yep, the Europe line. As in: "My band is huge in Europe." Only not in so many words.

"We ride in a tour bus over there," Trent says, speaking of Germany. "And we're riding around in a van over here. It's definitely different."

To hear Trent tell it, The Films are just shy of The Hoff on the Deutschland celebrity scale. And from there, Trent says, the reverence trickles down throughout Europe.

Impressive for a band most Americans have never heard of. It's almost unbelievable, really.

Until you give The Films a listen-to.

Their full-length debut, Don't Dance Rattlesnake, was released just this month in the United Kingdom, and even earlier in Germany. But stateside, The Films' label, Warner Bros., has yet to release the full disc. Instead, all American music fans have to whet their palates is an EP called Being Bored.

It's a fittingly titled release from The Films, who hail from New York City via Charleston, S.C., via Denver (some of the members were once part of the now-defunct Tinkers Punishment). As their Strokes-like single "Black Shoes" grows across the pond, The Films are stuck here in America, trying to increase their domestic fanbase.

In a crappy van.

(Sigh.)

But given the strength of The Films' early efforts, accumulating fans shouldn't be much of a problem. In fact, The Films already do have a few backers. In late 2005, Filter Magazine christened the outfit one to watch. And in early January, after having seen a handful of live shows and listening to an early copy of Don't Dance Rattlesnake, the music blog freeindie.com offered up The Films as the "breakout band of 2007."

"We had a specific sound in mind [for the album]," Trent says. "We wanted to just make a real, raw rock 'n roll record with really great songs on it."

It's a sound that's completely unlike the one Trent had created when Denver's Westword was doling out praise to Tinkers Punishment in 2000 and 2001. But Trent is right; the songs The Films have produced are great. They're incredibly catchy from the start, thanks to their foot-stomping drumbeats and lyrical blabbering be it in Trent's lead vocals or the backups, there's a lotta "la, la, la"-ing. The tracks are inarguably cool, too, what with their crunching, throwback guitar and bass lines.

Perhaps most refreshingly, the songs are relatable. Trent's vocals are easily understood and interpreted (and, often, they're pretty funny, with a tongue-in-cheek vibe).

It might not be the Tinkers Punishment sound, which was more pop-filled and punk-rooted, but it's a result that Trent is quite pleased with. (So much so, in fact, that he refuses to comment on Tinkers Punishment anymore.)

"We made the new sound the way we wanted it," he says.

It's a good one. On any continent.

The Films with Eastern Conference Champions

The Black Sheep,

2106 E. Platte Ave.

Tuesday, April 24, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $8; visit ticketweb.com or call 866/468-7621.

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