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The Color Red

Release Date: 08.06.02
Record label: RCA
Genre(s): Rock

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by: matt cibula


When Kurt Cobain wrote his most sarcastic song, In Utero's "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter," he was taking the piss--how could radio really embrace cacophany with nothing to it? But he was a prophet as well as a poet--now, apparently, all you need do is hit the guitars hard with one repeated hook and sing about how depressed you are, and you're all over "Modern Rock" radio.


It's easy to slot The Color Red in there: loud grungish poppish metalish rock without that shouty-rap thing I hate, but also without much ambition either. "Cleansing" seems like your prototypical sludge-ballad the first time you hear it, with its oh-poor-me chorus of "Here I am / On the ground"--self-disgust, world-disgust, hooks stolen from everyone, go to commercial. A song called "The Nothing" seems to be really just about itself on the first go-round: a slow showy thing that actually starts with the line "Cool down / Your jets, son," and doesn't seem aware that "jets" plus "son" equals "Jetson." Sad.


But that's just on first listen. Give it another go, and you might find something good, something almost kinda interesting. They steal a hook from the dB's for the opening of "Sore Throat," and that counts as cool even if they've never heard of that great Southern proto-janglepop band, as is quite likely. They can bust out the harmonies, as they show on the unfortunately-titled "Clone," and not sound half-bad. Jon Zamora's voice isn't any worse than anyone else in bands like this, and the band doesn't make any mistakes….


Aha! Eureka! That's it! They're afraid of making mistakes, so they mailed it in and hoped for the best. Dudes: if you want money, you're probably doing the right thing. If you want to last in the game, to be a truly great band…then you're seriously off-track. Stop impressing us with the sheen of your production work and write some songs that don't pander to the LCD. Got that? 02-Aug-2002 9:30 PM