The History Of Colour TV may sound like something you’ll see on a mildly interesting episode of “How It’s Made.” However, it’s not. In this instance, we’re talking about a much more ambiguous and non-linear subject. What we’re referencing in these lines is a band with that same name.
The band is a trio from Berlin that started gigging in 2010. Since then, a couple LPs have dropped and the group’s touring has stretched into France, Denmark, and Poland. The manner in which they present themselves is discernibly solemn. Dark, rolling, storm clouds are the backdrop to the main page on the outfit’s official website. There’s no bio to be found there, no list of musical influences. I stopped in my tracks while reading the header links from left to right; they’re listed as Home, Music, Tour, Wreck, Store, and Contact.
Wreck is the title of a single from the upcoming album, Something Like Eternity due on March 17th.
The aforementioned single is a bleak yet beautiful sample of things to come. The haunting, inharmonious melodies on guitar and the meek vocals are reminiscent of ‘90s emo. Each instrument is distinguishable in the mix and each fits in with enough space to avoid sounding cluttered or overwhelmed by another instrument. While a single like this might be a hit in Germany, it’s difficult to picture such a gloomy song on popular radio in America. Granite Verge of Tears is an aptly titled symphony of poignancy. The emotion here is so strong, it’s overpowering; as if the track came from a brief outburst of all feeling and no thinking. In actuality, it seems like the members put a great deal of thought into this. The patterns they wrote are so intricate that it makes the likelihood of it being spur of the moment next to none.
The rhythm section in Days Numbered is sparse for the most part. The drummer leads with the bass drum and rings the hi-hat before following with the snare. But, he plays with such leisure, allowing the notes to ring out with considerable duration. He really doesn’t utilize the full kit until he decides to speed up as the chorus hits. Things feel doomed until the pace picks up in the chorus and in that moment, something beautiful begins to bloom from a garden of sonic doom.
Everything That Stood Still kicks off typically with soft picking and a defeated tone in the singer’s voice. What stands out is the random burst of energy the band exudes. The tune has my vote for the next single.
Overcast Half is a little more than a minute and a half of guitar feedback and reversed sounds. It’s not really a standalone track but more of an intro to As Gray As Park Can Be. Which is quite a busy and ambitious song with its many sections and bipolar dynamics.
The group has a habit of balancing its eerie, melancholic chord progressions with much brighter ones. That’s not the case for Flame. This song features the vocalist with guitar on a solo track strumming a tune fit for a funeral. The final song, Pattern is just the opposite. The guys utilize a synth and play along in the highest of spirits without a hint of perceivable depression.
This band has been labeled a shoegaze act. I don’t hear that particular genre here. What I hear is this sort of mix of The Appleseed Cast and The Smashing Pumpkins. There’s definitely some indie and old-school emo here, but I’ll need someone to point out the shoegaze elements. No matter the style it’s called, I’ll just say it’s difficult to describe. The members have an ability to take ideas that are naturally opposed to each other and blend them together smoothly. It’s been a captivating listen.