Color Wall – The View From Above (CD)

A cleaned-up version of all the grunge music to come out of the Pacific Northwest in the early nineties, Color Wall infuses that style with British synth-pop to create a sound that is perfectly in-between the limits of alternative rock. Switching things up for “My Winger Tee”, a Weezer and They Might Be Giants-esque piece of perfect pop power is created, mainly due to Jeff’s vocals and guitars. The fuzzy recording on “The View From Above” which would normally sink most bands into mediocrity, actually aids Color Wall by crafting their style into a warm and kind style of rock that is itself dreamlike. The guitar work is by and far some of the most distinctive work done on “The View From Above”, and it is through these confident and simplistic guitar riffs that individuals can latch on. “Crush Me” is an improvement for Color Wall, in that a more concerted effort is made by the band to incorporate all elements in the creation of a track – thats right, Andrew’s bass makes a strong case during this track.

Looking back into the eighties for “I’ll Bet”, the general kernel that represents what Color Wall is is not corrupted but rather accentuated by the incorporation of a synth-like guitar and bass assault. “Surf Anthem For A New Millennium” is the best track on the disc, whether it be because of the Matt Freeman-like basslines of Andrew or the off-kilter vocal delivery by Jeff. So the track doesn’t get bogged down, Color Wall expertly puts the runtime at a minute, moving on to the emotive acoustic track “My Eyes”. The six-plus minute runtime of “My Eyes” is amplified by the shortness of the previous track – this song, while excellent in its arrangement, is strained due to this extended runtime.

“Just What I Needed” is exactly what Color Wall neederd to break out of the cobwebs placed on the listening experience by “My Eyes”. The punchy, almost-punky way that the band crafts their cover puts the rest of the disc back on track and is probably the best arena-rock cover to come out besides Sidecar’s “Piece of Mind”. “The View From Above” is not for those individuals who expect every track on a band’s disc to sound similar to the rest, but it is perfect fare for those who want to be continually excited by their music. Pete Yorn may have played for Color Wall in the past, but I can’t fathom them being any better with eir.

Top Tracks: Just What I Needed, Future Psych

Rating : 7.2/10

Color Wall – The View From Above / 2004 Lazy Suzan / 10 Tracks / http://www.colorwall.com / Reviewed 18 February 2005

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