Saturday, February 1, 2014
There is something that has been going on in the present state of music, and more specifically music journalism, recently that is a VERY upsetting trend. There have been numerous articles that I have read that have been talking about the "emo revival" that is apparently happening right now in the world. They are hard for me to read. And this is coming from someone that, if you read my fave records of 2013 post for example, actually enjoys ALOT of what/who is being included in this supposed revival. There is seemingly a lax of knowledge of what happened musically in the past that led to where we are presently musically in a lot of these write ups. A big example would be a article i read the talked about the waves of emo. omfg. it essentially acted like after the shitty mallcore "emo" (My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, etc) there wasn't anything going on musically. Essentially completely neglecting the fact that this music was continuing and stilled existing while that garbage happened. A lot of people, myself included, don't really include that poppy neo alternative radio shit as a facet of the emo family tree at all. But it is seemingly one of those things that music writers/critics, labels, publicity people, etc. have hammered home that it was actually a thing. haha. So i guess that's how it stays. BUT I digress. So while all this talk is happening, and new albums are coming out, and new bands are coming out/blowing up, all i could think about was the bands from the last wave that would be fucking HUGE right now. Now I'm trying to be very respectful with this article. I don't want to name names or point out who wrote what. I just need to say that first. BUT, there are bands blowing up right now, that while good or even very good, are not as good as some of that last wave of bands. But the media/press attention on them would make you think they were the greatest ever.
One band I feel bad about is Colossal. They formed in Elgin, IL in the early 00's. They ran until 2006 when they went a hiatus, that I hope isn't indefinite. There were a lot of claims to fame when it came to who played with the band too. Members of Abilene, The Lawrence Arms and Smoking Popes all spent time in the band. Musically though, they don't really share anything with those bands. The first time Colossal was mentioned to me was something along the lines of this "You like American Football? Well you would love Colossal! They are like the same thing!" Lets get real, this is NOT true. Realistically, how often does someone suggest a band to you with that tag line, and the band genuinely sounds exactly like the aforementioned? Rarely. That being said, Colossal share some of the things that American Football had in their sound. Clean, pretty almost jazzy guitar parts are sort of the main binding factor between the 2 bands. But often times, lines that are played have far more in common with something Victor Villarreal would write. Usually lying somewhere in between his youthful chord based work in Cap'n Jazz and his more complex work in Owls. Between the two guitar lines that are going on, in most of their songs, usually one will be playing the more straight away, jaggley chords and the other will be doing the noodley guitar. Its like having your cake and eating it too! Also, Colossal are a lot more upbeat and energetic than American Football. Just another thing that really makes them stand out as their own band. And another thing that draws a more realistic comparison to Cap'n Jazz over American Football. I will say that one thing the band had in common with American Football was there use of a trumpet on some songs. The difference obviously being that American Football used the trumpet in studio, but live there was no trumpet to be found. Colossal's guitarist doubled as the trumpet player. So that must have been awesome to see live. There singer is another thing that set them apart from other emo/indie bands in this style. Where vocals tend to be in the higher registers with these types of bands, Colossal's singer is a cool baritone. And its a nice change because, as i said, you don't see that so often. Sometimes it honestly kind of reminds me of Stephen Malkmus a little bit. Its great. I promise. Their rhythm section (which at times on different releases AND live had multiple drummers playing simultaneously) is outstanding. Their bass player is able to move around while holding it down at the same time. The drums and bass actually do a lot of cool things together outside of what the guitars are doing. The drummer(s) are so tight that I'm at a loss for which songs they play on simultaneously. Call that seamless. Best I can tell from the limited information out there, Colossal went on hiatus due to their guitarist's band, Smoking Popes, reuniting. It's quite a shame. Not because of the popes or anything like that. This band was such a great band. Who knows what other excellent music they could've put out. So many good things have been written about them. They were always viewed as a super promising act. And all they ever put out was a EP and one full length. In today's modern revival whatever landscape, they would be destroying. Because truth is, they are better than probably 90% of what is happening right now in that scene. So please, this band is amazing. This is everything I have by them. Listen. Love. Let’s find every member of the band and bug the shit out of them to reunite so they can take over everything.
Download their discography here