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Unicorns by Colour

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Reviewed on 27th April 2009.



By Colour

Colour are a four piece hailing from Kingston who label themselves as self-styled 'Math pop' pioneers.

Their debut single, 'Unicorns' mixes up pulses of ramshackle guitar and whining bass lines with sudden melodic passages. It's experimental rock, but with a distinctive indie slant, which sees them sounding a little like Blackened Sky-era Biffy Clyro.

Like the aforementioned Scottish three piece, Colour know that the average listener won't enjoy four minutes of noodling. They duly administer a shot of pop-punk infused accessibility, in the form of a galloping chorus of breakneck riffs, slick drum rolls and smoothly-flowing vocals. Without this one conventional hook, 'Unicorns' would probably be too much effort for too little reward but, with the help of that punky headrush, Colour manage to deliver something that's interesting and varied, without being a joyless, for-the-artist-only experiment.

B-side 'Run Like You're Being Chased' is more angular rock infused with moments of easy accessibility.

The verses are packed with detail, as Colour twist their trademark jerky guitars into all manner of odd sounds. From bone-jarring juddering; to tinny, revving riffs; to crunchy musical shrapnel decked out in twinkling synths, Colour are laboriously inventive. Thankfully, the band recognise that some relief from these complexities is necessary, as super-slick drum rolls build to a sparse but straightforward chorus where it becomes apparent just how talented Colour's drummer is.

Also offering respite from Colour's mind-frying intensity is an epic-tinged end section of fuller, heavier chords that'll pound the listener into dumb submission.

'Run Like You're Being Chased' is another twisted maze of sound that delivers just enough easier moments to make for an enjoyably mind-bending experience.

Second B-side 'Jewels Like Fairy Lights' is a more indie-centric offering. It has a killer central hook in the form of some very pointed, squealy chords that flutter back and forth across a backdrop of jangly, indie-rock drumbeats.

This song also sees frontman Alan Welsh experiment with his vocals, but to mixed effect. Occasionally, he sounds too shouty and slightly tuneless, but he also turns out some nicely downbeat vocals, which are perfectly complimented by dour, chuggy bass lines.
Similarly, 'Jewels Like Fairy Lights' dabblings with a shriller, more indie-flavoured sound sees them deliver catchy, hook-packed highs, but also unpleasantly harsh lows that just might have you wincing away from your speakers. The crackly, pulsing chords that Colour tack onto the end of their first verse, are particularly grating.

'Jewels Like Fairy Lights' may be the song that goes off on the most musical tangents, but it's also the song that delivers the most hooks, and solidifies Colour's image as a band who know how to balance out their complexities with some more immediate moments.

This three track single adheres to the Biffy Clyro formula of trying for at least one irresistible, immediate hook per song. Their hooks may be nowhere near as effective as Biffy's, but they still go someway towards ensuring that these sprawling, intentionally awkward tracks, won't make your brain ache quite as much as they should. Ones to watch out for in the future, if you like your music to be challenging.



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