June 8, 2011

Colourmusic – My _____ Is Pink

My _____ Is Pink
Memphis Industries; 2011

Frequent readers of this blog should be familiar with my opinions regarding genre revivalism in the music scene. To summarize for the uninitiated – if you can do it and do it with a modicum of talent and style, then keep at it; if you’re a hackneyed wannabe who doesn’t know the roots of the music you’re attempting to recreate, you should sell your gear at the earliest possible convenience. So, I’m more than aware that there’s not much new under the sun, and various styles and modes of music swing in and out of popularity ever fifteen or so years. For every Franz Ferdinand, there’s 20 Panic At The Discos waiting in the wings to wring out every last bit of pastiche available.

Thankfully, there are also fantastic acts like Colourmusic who come along to remind us that there are young bands making music today that are aware of history. On My _____ Is Pink, the band re-imagines all the potent intrigue resident in heady ‘70s psych-pop, and combines it with the power and furor of ‘60s garage rock. The album is laden with ample amounts of the skronk, dirt, and sludge fashioned by The Velvet Underground, The Black Angels, and The Warlocks, yet there’s plenty left-of-center art-pop fashioned by acts like The Flaming Lips, TV On The Radio, Warpaint, and Yeasayer.

What I dig most about these songs is that they’re bereft of the wry ironic sheen that strips hipster-approved pop of its ultimate impact (for example – anything created by Bradford Cox). Instead, there’s plenty of anger, passion, and pissed-off intensity to go around, which propels even the spacey-est of songs forward, onward, and upward. The loud, rich bass provides a sturdy platform upon which furious guitars can romp and stomp in all of their distorted, fuzzy, and overdriven glory. The drums are appropriately large in the mix, offering lots of surly muscle and oomph, while the breathy lead vocals supply some nice contrast (though the choir of background vocals at times adds an otherworldly quality).

I greatly appreciate the supple swing in moods, thus creating some tension in the music that keeps my attention. Extroversion battles with introversion, and meditative, reflective sections contend with those that are frustrated and want to lash out in irritation. The emotional conflicts remind me greatly of those created by early Broken Social Scene – life is a varied, ugly, gray mess sometimes, and things don’t always make sense. Also of note is the band’s inclination for dark, sultry anthems that know how to be rousing and meaty without being over-the-top – check out “Feels Good To Wear,” “Tog,” and “Pororoca” for the best examples.

On the whole, the best work on My _____ Is Pink can be found on the ten-minute album-defining “The Little Death (In Five Parts),” though “We Shall Wish (Use Your Adult Voice),” “You For Leaving,” and “Yes!” are excellent tracks as well. I would contend that Colourmusic readily admits that it isn’t necessarily bringing anything new to the table musically, but the group certainly is creating garage-fueled psych-pop better than a vast majority of its contemporaries. And in my world, that’s all I’m asking for from most musical artists these days – be good at what you do, and if you can offer up a few twists on old formulas along the way, then I’m all for it!

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