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Color Radio
Architects
Mapless Records
www.colorradioband.com


Proper stereo equipment is generally a good thing, however not necessarily a requirement. That is, unless you are listening to music so vast and intricate that it can only really be heard on speakers and/or headphones of the proper grade. When I received Color Radio's album Architects I knew this was a sound that required adequate electronics.

With professional grade headphones plugged in, I began the psychedelic trip that is Color Radio. Their debut EP Be Safe, Beware was released about 2 years ago and during its reign it gained the group some recognition on the local scene. However for their debut LP they chose to take the music to a national appeal by releasing Architects. The first song "Form Follows Function" is 2 minutes of soundscapes. Synthesizers and electronic chords pulse through your ears, while intensity grows to an eventual percussive release. No single word is ever sung, but the complexity of the song wouldn't have really allowed for one in the first place.

High guitar tones carry you from one song to the next, as eventually you are met with "Vespers". There are some light and airy pop guitar riffs that keep the energy racing for a moment or two, but it isn't until the elements are stripped down that vocals are finally heard. To the backdrop of a keyboard and light percussion, these vocals come off slightly unpolished, but very honest. The ending has a hint of Civil Twilight-ness to it and is full of drama. For a change of pace, Color Radio throws in "Towers". Its melodic keys and upbeat groove make it on a completely different planet than the rest of the album. Sure the toe taps and the body moves to the bass notes, but in the end it has a little bit of trouble fitting with the overall tone of the album. Finishing off the experience is "Future Product", a song that takes the listener back to those soundscapes heard in the first song. This time however they are a little more raw and a little more powerful. If the first song took you to the far reaches of space, then the last song brings you back to earth. There's a rock beat in the drums, that when mixed with a set of Peter Frampton electric guitar notes and those same melodic keys, creates an almost music movement.

Overall, this album is fairly epic. And the fact that it's a debut makes the future of Color Radio more than promising.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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