Colourmusic - Yes!
Owain Paciuszko 16/10/2009
This is the first British release for Ohio-based psychedelic pop rock quintet Colourmusic. In short Colourmusic are one of my favourite bands currently active and their debut LP that was released across the water last year was a spectacularly impressive album.
This EP comprises five tracks (all of which featured on the LP, but here they're versions from earlier American vinyl releases) all of which are awesome. It opens with the spectacularly euphoric anthem and title track, a chugging monster machine of a song that sweeps you up instantly in its chanted vocals; 'I'm gonna live it up! I'm gonna change my world!' It's the delirious love child of The Beta Band and The Polyphonic Spree and it's life-affirmingly glorious. (Side note: I prefer this mix of Yes! to the album version.)
Spring Song is quirky and charming, backing vocals whispering and muttering giddily, all building towards a spine-tingling marching band of brass instruments for the buoyant, manic finale that strikes the curious balance between hippy music and the metal influences that brought the band together. Colourmusic's live performances, for instance, are a barrage of sound, sweat and screeched vocals. You Can Call Me By My Name starts off with a The Strokes-like guitar riff before aschewing things with sinister nasal vocals stating 'Everything is breaking up.' Colourmusic are one of those bands who effortlessly summon up infectious energy and manage to funnel it through all the wires, mixers and faders and actually make it heard on record. These are the kind of catchy tunes that may inspire impromptu bedroom dancing.
Mixing a call-to-arms style rhythm with a fuzzy squall of guitars Put In A Little Gas manages to make filling up the car into a religious experience, indeed there's a certain 'cult' chic to Colourmusic's attitude which sits alongside their early days where they all called themselves Roy as being representative of the band's tongue-in-cheek side. Gigs have seen the band get live hair-cuts, have artists paint their all white instruments/outfits and fake the death of one of their members (Nick Turner from Yorkshire) including an interview with God. But this perceived 'gimmickery' is just another arm of their boundless imagination and not a way of covering up hokey song-writing skills and whilst this record focuses very much on the explosive, in-your-face mania of the band they are equally capable of the romantic and tender swashes of music as well (see Winter Song from their debut album).
Closing track The Gospel Song feels like an evangelical meeting taking place on The Muppet Show, it sashays from jangling guitars and swoonful backing vocals to a barndance rave with diversions through hand-claps, sing-a-longs and bass straight out of Fraggle Rock. 'Feel like taking all your clothes off!' they sing and there's a danger that the hypnotic, magical, barmy effect of this music may just inspire this kind of spirtual release, or, at least, a damn good party.
Colourmusic are one of those bands I just can't recommend enough, and thoroughly enjoy talking about. Their music is fun, bright, inventive and really deserves some of your ears' time. I can never guarantee you're going to like anything, but if I could get everyone to listen to just one band this year, it'd probably be these guys.