Friday, March 07, 2008

Gold Sounds: Colour Revolt's new album Plunder, Beg, and Curse reviewed

Colour Revolt - Plunder, Beg, and Curse

On this, their first full length, Colour Revolt delivers on the promise of their 2006 self-titled EP, but only to a certain degree. They get some things right, but there is certainly room for improvement. For the most part, Colour Revolt do one of two things: create slowly building songs with a payoff of epic proportions, or they create songs full of tension that end before any sort of tipping point.

The first few songs follow the 'slowly building' model, starting with first single "Naked and Red" which, while not bad, seems to be missing a little something. The next track, "A Siren" starts similarly to "Naked and Red", but progresses in a different direction. Towards the end, guitar, bass and drums fire on all cylinders, creating a beautiful cacophony of sound that keeps building until all instrumentation stops. It seems a lot less calculated than "Naked and Red," and it's this that makes me believe it should have been chosen as the album's first single. Next, the haunting mood and slow stomp of "Elegant View" eventually veer into loud, unruly territory, full of abrasive guitar feedback and the occasional guitar riff reminiscent of 80s metal (to me, anyway). By the end of the track, the guitars sound absolutely exhausted (one of my personal favorite moments of the album). Indeed, the build up to aural assault is well-done on these two songs.

Most of the other tracks are filled with tension, and the best example of this is the track "Moses of the South." Repeated guitar strumming and a fluid rhythm section start off the song, and persist while various guitar feedback becomes introduced during its progression. It creates an eerie yet somehow endearing atmosphere, and it's the track I like the most. Other tracks towards the end of the album, such as "Innocent and All," do the same thing, but just aren't as memorable.

Final track "What Will Come of Us?" exercises an admirable amount of restraint, but doesn't work well as the closing track. After listening for the whole six-plus minutes, you sort of hope that something big is going to happen, but it never really does. Even though it's a disappointment in that way, I give them a lot of credit for this unorthodox method of closing the album. The band may have thought that it would be interesting to go against expectations and end with a slowly building but quieter song rather than with a slowly building but epic song.

Unfortunately, a lot of the tracks here are pretty mediocre and forgettable. "See It," which follows "A Siren" and "Elegant View," seems like an afterthought after those two powerful tracks. Unfortunately, several of the tracks on the album come off the same way; after listening to the album several times, I still can't recall what some of the songs even sound like (they sort of suffer from 'every song sounds the same' syndrome). Tracks like "See It" and "Swamp" aren't necessarily bad, but they're just sort of unremarkable compared to the obviously stronger tracks. Honestly, there just isn't much to love after the halfway point of the album.

Also, the album's not instrumental, but I don't feel compelled to mention lyrics or vocals at all. The lyrics are too trapped in traditional rhyming schemes (one main complaint I had with their EP as well) to be compelling and the vocals just sort of accentuate the tone of the song.

Rating? 4/10: There are some really strong songs here (as there were on the EP), but unfortunately there are also a lot of unforgettable songs as well, and nearly the whole second half of the album is completely forgettable. I still think the band shows potential to have a strong release someday, but this isn't it.

Listen: Colour Revolt's myspace currently has "A Siren" and "Naked and Red" up for streaming

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