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Playing Around: Earth Crisis 

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As the sun slides along its southern path, bestowing the Pikes Peak region with crisp, newborn autumn rays, it's easy to become drowsy and listless while nature ends its season of renewal. By Christmas, we'll all be akin to the Pillsbury doughboy, giggling like sanatorium residents when someone pokes at the evidence of our physical apathy. What we need is something to rev us up and make us hard again. Something to bludgeon us into action.

Best serve yourself up a heapin' helpin' of Earth Crisis, leaders of the modern metal genre. Priding themselves on their guttural yet decipherable lyrics, the band has been together for more than 12 years, playing during that headbanger's no-man's-land where metal wasn't cool. During that time, they created a style akin to traditional kick-your-ass rock but unique in its message -- instead of creating magical fantasy lands chock full of dragons and wizards and unicorns (oh my!), they use their musical forum to raise awareness about animal rights, the beauty of not eating meat and living a straight-edge life while still being one bad mother.

After years of being the ugly stepchild of modern rock, Earth Crisis has shown up in town to plug what they hope will be their break-through album, Slither. They'll play with Glass Jaw and Drowning Man on Sunday night; tickets are 10 bucks. Call 800/965-4827 for info.

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