Before Mississippi-based Colour Revolt went by that name, they were called Fletcher, and in 2003, they released a captivating, if rough, album, Friends Don’t Speak.
Like so many bands of the era, Fletcher was clearly more comfortable expressing what was wrong with the world than what was right. While it never strayed into emo-level melancholia, there was a healthy does of teenage angst bubbling underneath the surface. And why not? After all, the band was still in high school.
But jump ahead to five years and a name change later, and if anything, the doom and gloom has only increased. It was appropriate for Colour Revolt’s 2005 EP, recorded in the midst of Hurricane Katrina, but now with the first full-length under the new name, Plunder, Beg and Curse, I just wish these guys would lighten up a bit.
Don’t get me wrong – the band has improved remarkably over the years, and shows great strides on this latest album. Musically, Plunder, Beg and Curse could probably contend for one of the best indie albums of the year. It’s ferocious and melodic simultaneously, with lead Jesse Coppenbarger comfortably transitioning from soft to loud to this almost-scream he pulls off so well.
But I find it hard to believe these guys have earned the need to be so dismal. The entire album is populated with lyrics like “Those burned-out wrecks are what’s become / Even if you need it all / The ground won’t break to save your fall / Even if you need it all” and “I light fires to the world / And listen as it lay / Whispered little sounds / Cracking to a pound / Pummeling the town / Everything you say / It’s beautiful wondered dismay / You are the Moses of the sound / Devil worship now / Temples crumble down / Flood from the mouth / It’s violent and insane / And crucifying the inane.”
Well-written, sure, but a bit depressing when you get it nearly nonstop for a 50-minute stint. Colour Revolt absolutely has their market – there are plenty of people who won’t think twice about the bleak lyrics, and probably even more who will have found exactly what they’re looking for.
I have complete respect for what Colour Revolt has done here. Plunder, Beg and Curse is a great album – a career-best for sure. I just wish they could’ve done it with a little smile on their faces.