Sunday, 1 May 2011

Album Review: Colourmusic "My______Is Pink" (Memphis Industries)

Colourmusic are from Stillwater, Oklahoma, and "My _____ Is Pink" is their debut album They are friends with Flaming Lips and plough the same musical fields leaving obtusely angled furrows across the landscape. They claim that their music is based on the colour theory of Isaac Newton. If I were to believe this for a minute I would probably do a little research into this fascinating scientific subject for the purpose of this review, but as I think it is clearly a red-herring I shan't bother. Instead I shall focus on the evidence provided in these thirteen tracks. "My _____ Is Pink" is stacked with brash and ecclectic art-rock that is teaming with ideas. Beard opens the album with an uber-cool funk drone, a post-punk rhythm section and snarled vocal delivery. Jack & Jill (A Duet) still has the same droney production but is in essence a California style low-fi garage excursion. Feels Good To Wear is highly stylised indie rock with a dreampop undercurrent and, again, a funk rhythm drive. We Shall Wish (Use Your Adult Voice) is the highlight for me; the clearest attempt to carve out something raw and surprising. The new single, You For Leaving Me is the sound of a deranged gospel choir over filtered heavy rock and Tog is another wonderful rythmic sprint - burundi drumming and playground nursery rhyme vocals. Dolphins and Unicorns is a throwaway pyschedelic-disco number and Pororoca is a brooding new-wave misery workout "lights out, lights out, looking for a way out". Which leads us to the off-centre piece of the album The Little Death (In Five Parts) a ten minute prog thrash which, while interesting, trips up in the sense that the scary moments are not nearly scary enough and the pretty moments not too pretty. Things are now slowing down - Fold/Unfold is an atmospheric ballad and Mono follows in the same folky shoegaze vein. Penultimate track, Whitby Harbour, is a field recording of waves crashing and Yes! is a singalong pop song.
Colourmusic have demonstrated a prowess for their craft on this record and it is clear that they are a group of restless creatives looking to impress. There are some wonderful moments throughout and some big highlights. Even the less interesting forrays are pleasurable enough. However, I feel the need to interrogate this a little more. The verse of We Shall Wish (Use Your Adult Voice) declares "These are the days of easy answers" - and yes of course, as long as you ask easy questions. The next challenge for Colourmusic will be to take their admirable spirit of adventure and push harder against more difficult subjects and structures - I want more danger. The title of the album "My ______ Is Pink" invites the listener to fill the gap. I would have thought that the intention should be to conjure raw and shocking words that would make ladies blush, but it just doesn't seem appropriate. On this outing I'm saying "Delicious Lollipop" but next time around I want to say "Tight Pussy". (8/10)

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