Colorado Crew: Denvoid Pt. 2 By Bob Rob Medina and Sonny Kay, 322 pgs.

Bob Rob Medina and Sonny Kay are both veterans of the Denver, Colo., area punk/hardcore scene, and both are established visual artists. Their book Colorado Crew: Denvoid Pt. 2 is a mindblower from first glance on. This gigantic book documents the Denver/Boulder scene between 1988 and 1996. Each one of the 320 pages is beautifully printed in full color and packed with local punk rock history, as well as photos, fliers, artwork, drawings, random band graphics, et cetera. The devotion required to realize a project of this magnitude is immeasurable and inspirational.

The bulk of the text is made up of interviews with over sixty people who were entrenched in the Denver/Boulder scene of that era: band members, label/zine folks, promoters, artists, wastoids, and other fixtures. I’d heard of a few of the bands/people featured in this book before reading it: Donut Crew Records (founded by Medina in 1988), Cavity (I played with another band called Cavity in the mid-’90s, so I was always like, “Who the hell is that?”), Warlock Pinchers, and the Fluid. A few obvious (to an outsider like me) groups, like Dead Silence and the Nobodys, are not interviewed here (Dead Silence does have a two page spread with photos and fliers, but no interview), and I have yet to find an explanation for this in the book.

The interviews are in depth and entertaining, and they often cross-reference in a way that keeps the story moving. After reading one person’s interview, you’ve learned enough about another figure to be thoroughly interested in theirs. Example: I had never heard of Tom Headbanger (show promoter) before, but after reading about him in other interviews, I was surprisingly stoked when his chapter came up.

The accounts in the interviews frequently overlap and sometimes hilariously contradict each other (I mean, we are talking about punks here). In fact, Colorado Crew unfolds in fashion reminiscent of Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22, which is told not chronologically but from each character’s point of view. Similarly, in Colorado Crew, you must read through the interviews and put two and two together for the larger picture to present itself. Ultimately, the stories combine to create a familiar scenario—triumphs, failures, friends made, friends lost, venue owners infuriated, cockhorses ridden—that is both moving and relatable.

Colorado Crew: Denvoid Pt. 2 has the content density of a large college textbook on punk rock. There is a lot to read here, and the print is tiny (some of it is hard to read for an original gang member like myself). The price of this book (around $30) might seem high, but once you have it in your hands, you’ll understand that no amount of money could begin to cover the work that went into creating it—not to mention the cost of printing such a book. This is clearly a labor of love. –Buddha (Robot Enemy Books, bobrobart.bigcartel.com)