The Color Morale

My Devil In Your Eyes

Written by: BL on 01/09/2011 21:12:17

Two years on from their interesting debut "We All Have Demons", the musical scene of The Color Morale has exploded tenfold and an influx of far too many surplus bands perhaps threatened to push The Color Morale into obscurity. Luckily earlier this year the band put out their second album "My Devil In Your Eyes", and continuing on from their previous effort, is an even better marriage of the best of both worlds of heavy and melodic post-hardcore. It does so without having to pull too many popular modern tricks and delivers on solid musicianship, captivating hooks, meaty wholesome tracks and in their vocalist Garret Rapp, one great voice. Few bands around this particular genre can sound as strong and varied as The Color Morale while keeping the casual, avid and more discriminating listeners happy all at the same time.

For the uninitiated to the western post-hardcore scene as it is right now, the one in the US in particular, heavy aggressive verses, soaring clean choruses, and breakdowns are the norm and at times disappointingly even essential to get noticed by more than just your neighbours complaining about how loud you are being. A super tight production helps too and goes a long way to elevate something like "My Devil In Your Eyes" above any similar sounding competition. I mean before even considering the contents of the album in more depth, it just sounds at times both exhilarating and breathtaking purely from a sonic perspective. The guitars and the drums feel sharper and weightier than previously and their sounds are crisper and more vibrant which gives them definition. All this would have been for nought though if The Color Morale hadn't figured out how to progress musically and technically, and while the differences between this album and the last are not as immediately clearcut nor as great as one would expect, there is at least an improvement in those departments too.

For one thing Garret Rapp sounds more confident even if his range technically hasn't really changed all that much. His voice more ferocious and gnarly in his screams and growls, his singing still wonderfully contrasting to the screams and both noticeably stronger and more flair driven as catchy openers "Nerve Endings" and "Human(s) Being" make apparent. As for the rest of the band, there's a little bit more experimentation in tracks like "Demon Teeth" where the band mixes in some truly abrasive aggression amongst their regular palette to make something unlike anything they've done previously, their admitted Glassjaw influence rearing its head. As for the usual things you expect The Color Morale to do well at: the piercing ringing guitars interspered between barrages of Misery Signal-esque rhythms, and engaging uplifting vocal passages - "Walkers" and "Falling Awake" both have you covered as these songs are unquestionably the catchiest songs of their kind the band have put out. There are more breakdowns than on "We All Have Demons" by a smidge throughout which may be a little offputting for the cynical out there. But I can overlook this fact at least as they are not only appropriately heavier, but well placed in the songs themselves (look at the end to "The Dying Hymn" for example). And they can be utilised properly when called upon which is namely to provide the soundtrack for a bruising in a live setting (and maybe at home too if you're into that sort of thing).

"Quote on Quote" is more of the same with a great chorus, though has a brief if not slightly inconsequential guest from Chris Roeter of Like Moths To Flames (also ex Emarosa and Agraceful vocalist)."This Lost Song Is Yours" on the other hand, is a more progressive yet no less energetic piece and far more interesting. Once again Garret shines brilliantly especially as the song reaches a climax, only this time with a completely clean vocal performance the whole way through that makes it one of my favourites of the whole album. Finally, "Fill; Avoid" serves as the closer and offers an introspective and more intimate side of the band and Garret himself. Stripped bare of almost all instrumentation except for some samples and ambience, its soothingly calm, but also haunting as Garret echoes out the last of the lyrics: "You made me from dust, not dirt".

So there you have it really, "My Devil In Your Eyes" won't win any awards for being a masterpiece of musical creation and nor should it, as well as many album of the year awards from those outside the listening circle of post-hardcore aficionados, but it's a pretty good album in its own right undoubtedly. If you take the album for what it is and keep whatever negative preconceptions of the genre you've been harbouring behind, it will entertain and enthrall you for a while with its solid writing style and superb melodies. Time will tell perhaps if this is the album The Color Morale will be remembered for, but I have a good feeling they will continue to grow from here.

8

Download: Walkers, Demon Teeth, Falling Awake, This Lost Song Is Yours
For the fans of: Blessthefall, Misery Signals, Beloved, Emarosa
Listen: Myspace, Facebook

Release date 08.03.2011
Rise Records

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