The '70s, updated
From the opening guitar riffs for "Can't You Hear It Call" that hearken to Keith Richards' opening from "Jumping Jack Flash" through the glam rock touches of "Devil's Got a Holda Me" and the heavy blues intro of "Our Children Were the Stars" to the faded outro of "Dirge to Earth & Sky," Orange County's The Colour affects a 1970s Brit-rock sensibility that will comfort middle-aged rock fans who long for the good old days (including your loyal correspondent reviewing this disc). But while the overall sound and structure are '70s blues rock, it's also take on the music that is clearly filtered through the ears of musicians who grew up in the 1980s and '90s so there's a huge streak of alt rock, punk and all the other assorted strains that were popular in those decades.
For instance, on "Silver Meadows," Wyatt Hull's vocals are pure '80s new wave, recalling the Eurythmics more than Mick Jagger. Other tracks contain Adam Ant's tom-based dance rhythms, early '90s grunge moodiness and late-'80s Brit pop-styled melodic hooks.
This combination of '70s riffs and rhythms and '80s/'90s flourishes makes "Between Earth & Sky" an interesting listen. That first song, "Can't You Hear It Call," has a radio-friendly theme that could easily propel the band to stardom. But if the fame and riches don't come now, there's enough promise here on the band's first full-length release to make The Colour worth keeping an eye on.
© Copyright Jim Trageser
All rights reserved