Review Summary: Better late than never, come get your leftover classic.
Every now and then, I stumble across a piece of music that makes me wonder what in the hell I possibly could have possibly been doing – at any given time juncture – that was so
important that I missed out on such a vital release. In this case, the year was 2005. Maybe I was spinning American Idiot
for the ceremonial five hundredth time？The fact that this brilliant EP was re-released in 2006 via Tiny Evil, while the band was touring with fucking Brand New
, does little to excuse my vast ignorance. So here I am, thirteen years later, finally finding what should have been an essential complement to my Brand New-Thrice-mewithoutYou holy trinity collection. Colour Revolt
is an EP I should have known all along – packing an entire career’s worth of emotion into six stunning tracks.
Colour Revolt’s debut blended raw, gritty post-hardcore with shimmering indie-rock – it’s basically everything that made Thrice so popular at the exact same time, but with even more emotion burgeoning from some Lacey-like existentialism. My favorite moment on this record is, hands down, when frontman Jesse Coppenbarger screams “all you ever talk about is letting us down…well l if you ever see me dying, just put me in the ground”, which is followed up by this perfectly placed, emotional guitar solo. It sounds even better than it reads on paper, so I’d recommend that anyone with even a passing interest in mid-2000’s emo/alt-rock give ‘Mattresses Underwater’ his or her undivided attention. It’s a classic.
’s other five tracks nearly live up to that moment of bliss. Both the opener ‘Blood In Your Mouth’ and the penultimate ‘Change Your Face or Change Your Name’ could pass for Dustin Kensrue singing Conor Oberst songs (there’s a hefty harmonica presence; and if Salutations
taught me anything, it’s that Oberst loves harmonicas now). ‘A New Family’ is the most laid back and atmospheric song, sounding a little bit like something Modest Mouse would curate if they focused really hard on not being so goddamn damn quirky for one moment. On ‘Our Homes Are Graves’, they sound like Spoon’s ‘Do You’ gone hardcore – although I could be attributing just a little too much to the doo-doo-doo
’s that wash over the chorus. The closer ‘Circus’ is shrill paranoia, and I love it - Jesse screams front start to finish about stepping in fear, questioning God, and pondering whether or not we even have a say about what happens to us in this world. It’s like the more panicked and urgent sibling of ‘Jesus’ from The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
This band’s debut is one that should be cherished. The band achieved very little of consequence with their subsequent full-length LP’s, and they swiftly faded from both relevance and memory only years after bursting onto the scene. That lends Colour Revolt
full gem/indie-cred status; it’s this flash in the pan of brilliance that probably should have led to much more widespread success and longevity than it ultimately did. Hopefully you got to experience this EP during the band’s heyday. If not, don’t put it off any longer or let it slip through your fingers. It’s one of those few albums that is well worth looking more than a decade in the rearview mirror for.