FAME Review: Color Radio - Architects
Color Radio - Architects


Color Radio

Available from Color Radio's online store.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Promoting the three Rs so essential to growing young bodies—Ride, Rain Parade, and Radiohead, with not a little Sipo in the mix—Color Radio has crafted an echoing, billowing, progressively panoramic disc in Architects, a CD that pulses and rings with heavenly halls, byways, and vistas. The sound and atmospheres are simultaneously dense while filled with fuzzy light and eddying fogs swirling and bulking. Though there are 12 cuts here, the entire cycle is a set of variations on riffs, rhythms, and visions constantly refined, requoted, and restated (progheads know this formula well, as in such instances as Nektar's Remember the Future).

The vocals don't always quite achieve the tone and timbre created instrumentally, but that's an odd new element in modern rock that has supplanted earlier standards, a purposeful inclusion of inapt atonality as furtherance of same. Nonetheless, as Over My Head starts bringing everything to an end in a cathartic release, one sees where loose ends, trailing rhythms, and repeating modalities combine for an ascension that summates and climaxes earlier directions and images in a cohesive pinnacle. Thus, "Future Product" provides the perfect denouement, a slow, lazy, ambling aftermath that brings everything back down to Earth.

Color Radio has a lot in common with Nerves Junior (here) and Chocolate Horses (here), though each group takes an entirely different path in crafting wares heedless of the tin ear of the masses. All three represent the kind of brainiac musicsmithing that foretells good things for the future—damn near, if not in fact, creating a new wrinkle in the progressive wont. All three discs were forwarded by Jeffrey Smith of Crash Avenue, who's proving to possess an extremely sophisticated ear. Too bad he and Howard Wuelfing don't run a radio station. Between the two, they could revive what once was, in the 60s and 70s, the way tastes were made: via the consummate discernments of disc-spinning aesthetes.

They also represent an important evolution in the industry itself: people who know their musics dead cold rather than by the old throw-it-against-a-wall-see-if-it-sticks method that produced such a mountain of crap in bygone days. The era of the fat, sweating, condescending, cigar-smoking, miserable business fuck deciding what's good and what isn't is over; the New Turks are in town and there's a-gonna be a new day in Dodge City, y'all. Now, if we can only get over the horrors wrought by Bush & Co., los business shites supremo, maybe we can cadge a glimpse of utopia…starting, of course, with the arts. And Architects ain't a bad way to get a glimpse over the hilltop.

Track List:

  • Form Follows Function
  • Vespers
  • Quiet House
  • Smile at a Funeral
  • Elephant Room
  • Auto-Touch
  • Marionette
  • Towers
  • Sharks [in a Sequence]
  • Ideas Splitting Atoms
  • Over my Head
  • Future Product
No songwriting credits given (promo disc).

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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