Review Summary: With the technicalities of math rock and the charm of indie pop or rock, Colour create a highly original album and something you should definitely try check out.
Colour were signed to indie label Big Scary Monsters, which you may know as the label fellow math rockers Adebisi Shank are signed to. Colour broke up in mid 2009, but recently reformed to create Tangled Hair, a band aimed more towards the indie pop side of their music. Their first EP was good, but it made me want to look back at Anthology which I had shelved and never gave a proper listen. I wish I had back at the time I got it, because I was missing out on a real treat.
Colour was and sort of still is:
Alan Welsh – Guitar, vocals
George Reid – Guitar
James Trood & Alex Mac – Drums
Lewis Reynolds, Sean Bamberger, Mike Waddington and Carl Whittaker - Bass
As the title suggests, Anthology is an anthology, with each group of three songs having previously been released as an EP, all except the last two songs which are brand new for the album. They have gone through line up changes (hence the multiple names in the line up) but you wouldn’t notice the difference track by track. All the members are skilled at their instruments, particularly the two guitarists who fill the album full of great polyphonic riffs, such as in the intro of Shamu, present throughout the whole album.
The album is consistent in style, lyrics and quality. The style being a clever and original cross of math rock and indie. The lyrics are childish but not in the way that you will see in whiney pop punk bands, but in a way that is enjoyable and will regularly make you smile, for example ”I think I saw a unicorn, or perhaps a horse in uniform” from the song Unicorn.
The consistency of the album is one of its best traits, with every song having something that will make you want to listen to it again. But there are some stand out tracks and moments, the beginning of Shamu, as Alan playfully shouts “Have you seen!” before leading into the previously mentioned riff and there are at least two vocal sections of this song that you won’t be able to get out your head, but you won’t mind it. Over The Moon has a great intro again, which will grab your attention and won’t let go, as the song twists and turns before reaching its brilliant chorus, and the next time round you hear this song you won’t be able to resist singing the “Ba da da! Da!” before the second chorus, or clapping after the second chorus, making it one of the standouts on the album. The middle section holds two more gems as well being Chutes and Tired Eyes. Chutes opens with a Modest Mouse style piano intro, before attacking with one of the faster and more powerful tracks, then calming us down with one of the slower songs on the album, Tired Eyes, which opens with a simple guitar riff that turns into a great indie song, which will make it difficult not to feel anything when Alan pleas “Tired Eyes! Look like this!” Unicorns is a bit of a different track, leaving some of the math rock behind and taking up more of a simple approach, which results in one of the best choruses on the album that you will either be tapping your feet to, or dancing to. The last four tracks are more of the same, which is where the albums biggest fault appears (However Dinosaurs has a great mid section). By now you have heard a lot of the same sort of thing, and may be looking for something different, and it sadly isn’t there. But I would rather hear what they are good at and not risk them spoiling the album with a miss, because most of it is hits.
I always find it very hard to decide what I think a 5 is on this site. But the best way to define a classic I think is something that everyone has to hear at some point in their life. This is to repetitive an album to make it that, and admittedly a lot of this rating comes from my personal opinion and love for catchy choruses and complicated riffs. Some may not like it for its childish lyrics, but I personally love them. Some may not like it because of its repetitiveness, but that doesn’t bother me. If you can get past those as well you will find a lot to enjoy about this album. A very personal 4.4/5
Over The Moon