Form of Rocket gets some go again

By Trevor Hale, Red Pulse Editor

Longevity in the Salt Lake City music scene is a hard feat to master. Most bands come and go in a matter of a few months and the good ones last a couple years at best. That’s just the way things seem to go when people get older, settle down and have families. The music takes a back burner to real life.

There are a select few bands that have the longevity and creativity to make them a staple of the Salt Lake City scene, and Form of Rocket is at the top of that list.

Form of Rocket has weathered everything thrown at them throughout their nearly 10-year career, and they just keep on going. They formed in 2000 when most of the members were students at the U. They didn’t know quite what genre they wanted to play so essentially created their own.

Each member of the band came from a different background in music including pop, hardcore, punk and indie rock, so everyone had something to bring to the table. It turned out to be a pretty big table because sooner than later, Form of Rocket had crafted a spastic, intricate set of songs that ranged from low end, bass-heavy tracks to wildly technical math-rock. Local and national bands constantly cite Form of Rocket as an influence and the number keeps on growing.

Once the band began playing shows, the buzz started to build and each time, the turnout was bigger than the last. On more than one occasion, Form of Rocket had to move shows to bigger venues because their adopted home of Kilby Court wouldn’t fit the people coming to see them.

Form of Rocket has released three albums to date, Se Puede Despedir a Todos, Lumber and Men. Each record, while still holding onto the sound it has so carefully honed during the past 10 years, still manages to inject a new element.

When guitarist-vocalist Curtis Jensen left the band just after Lumber, most people thought it might be the end, but Form of Rocket did the only thing that made sense8212;they brought in local guitar-god Gentry Densley to take his place. Densley was a member of the influential hardcore band Iceburn and is well-known for mixing acid jazz, hardcore, metal and just about any other sound that can be made with a guitar. He fit right in and the band continued, skipping only a few minor beats along the way. The band recorded and released Men and toured the United States, gaining more and more exposure in each city they stopped in.

With so many things going on in the band and all the members involved in other musical projects, it’s not often that Form of Rocket gets to play in Salt Lake City. Whenever the band does grace us with their presence, it’s a sight to be seen. There is so much energy flowing through the four members that it’s impossible to take your eyes off the stage.

Peter Makowski and Bed Dodds are the only two original members remaining, having picked up drummer Tyler Smith and guitarist Josh Asher (who has since replaced Densley so the band is able to tour more easily). On the rare occasion Form of Rocket does grace Salt Lake City with its presence, Jensen has been known to lend a hand on vocals.

The band plays at the Urban Lounge this weekend, and Jensen will be opening the show with his spoken word work. He’s an accomplished poet whose work is full of wit and tongue-in-cheek digs, which is what gave the lyrics to Form of Rocket such a satirical bend8212;hence song titles like “Keep Smilin’ Ed Smart” and “Shut the F*** Up Rodeo.” Since Jensen’s departure, Form of Rocket has carried on without an official vocalist. Makowski and Asher now handle the lion’s share of the work, but in a live setting, the crowd tends to do a lot of their work for them, and that’s part of what makes these rare live performances so entertaining.

If you’ve never seen Form of Rocket live, do it now8212;it might be a while before you get another chance.

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