Syntax Issue 10
Denver Syntax

{hot iq's}

For a band that put their drums together backwards the first time, the Hot IQ’s have come a long way. Now one of Denver’s hottest bands, the IQ’s are standing on the brink of national attention.

And while it is axiomatic for most that the IQ’s are very high and reverberating at the top of the Denver musical hierarchy, maybe someone needs to tell the band this much. Predicated on everything humble and hardworking, it seems that the IQ’s have not taken any time to pour that flaky gold onto their chest.

Relying heavily on their visceral rawness, the IQ’s have remained where they began: just playing instruments. For the band and fans alike the allure is the sheer rawness of the IQ sound. And if there is something within this that feels like a philosophy, it’s in part their illustration that anybody can play an instrument; that dreams can be conquered if you take them into your own hand and drive at it with a fiery fury.

And while two-thirds of the IQ 3-piece had no real musical training or knowledge of instrumentation prior to creating the band – don’t dig too deep into this. Because while they began as musical amateurs (save Bryan Feuctinger who has an accomplished history of musicianship and working as a recording engineer) they have certainly blossomed in the last years – into a formidable and polished act.

And where the idea of chord formations and off-beats once filled their grip of familiarity, the regularity of playing CMJ in New York and South by Southwest and touring the country is now gorging that space in their lives. But if they are one of Denver’s hottest bands, nobody told them. Lyrically, the IQ’s are dense. With Mishkin’s refined, haunting voice that feels more than it sounds like it is being bellowed out from the inside of a castle’s bowels – the content could easily become lost. But not with the IQ’s clear message. And while they are not interested in preaching to the world around them so much as they are interested in providing themselves with personal reminders – they do speak to some universal ideals: At the top of this list is our jaded culture. But the IQ’s don’t stop there – they take it another step further, commenting on this culture as an unattractive and in the end, a powerless paradigm.

We can call them bubblegum power pop, or any other limiting identifier. But the truth is, that while the IQ’s resonate with a variety of other acts – they are uniquely themselves.

Back out on their own after working with Morning After Records the IQ’s self-released EP, Dangling Modifier was engineered by Feuctinger and his Uneven Studios – clearly demonstrating his brilliance in the studio – but also illustrating why Denver is so crazy about the Hot IQ’s.