The Color Morale - My Devil in Your Eyes
Record Company: Rise Records
Release Date: March 8, 2011
Less than a year ago, in my mostly positive review of In Fear and Faith's Imperial, I -- like a sane person -- was rather harsh on what is arguably my least favorite record company, Rise Records. Attack Attack's self-titled was some of the worst trash released at the time, and their track record pretty much speaks for itself. However, now we enter 2011, and as with every year before it, it's a time for new beginnings. Perhaps this is Rise's new beginning.
From the wonderful debut album by Decoder to the mostly enjoyable return of the original Dance Gavin Dance, Rise has already had quite the year, and now with The Color Morale's new energetic album My Devil in Your Eyes, this may just be Rise's year for quality post-hardcore.
The Color Morale's We All Have Demons was a good album, but at times it felt too generic; too much like every other band that was releasing the same chug-chug-breakdown-chug album after album. With Devil, The Color Morale may not be breaching any new ground, but they're covering familiar ground with maturity and a capable vocalist in Garret Rapp's amazing ability to deliver gut-wrenching growls and sincere cleans in the blink of an eye.
"Nerve Endings" is a spectacular opener, showcasing the band's ability to pull off well-placed breakdowns and a catchy feet-stomping chorus. Most bands that scream either suffer from a mismatched clean vocalist or focus too much energy on the screaming while failing to ever truly utilize their clean vocalist. Right from the get-go, "Nerve Endings" proves that both sides of the vocal spectrum can indeed be a balanced equation. It's an instant highlight. "Human(s) Being" features a fist-pumping breakdown in which Rapp screams "I am not afraid to die/I am terrified of life." "Be Longing Always" is another major highlight, featuring more than a few awesome changes and superb guitar work from Ramon Mendoza and John Bross.
Musically, the band is excellent. Innovative it may not be, but the timing and the tremolo picking is wonderful ("Demon Teeth" is one of the better examples of this) throughout. Production is splendid, featuring some miniscule but effectively done vocal work, such as the last 20 seconds of "Quote on Quote".
The Color Morale's My Devil in Your Eyes will certainly win no awards for creativity or innovativeness, but sometimes that doesn't make or break an album. Sometimes the quality found in an album lies in how well a band can make something already done their own; in how professional and relevant they can do something that's been done the wrong way countless times. This album is contrariwise to the argument that post-hardcore has lost its edge, and while it certainly may not be a breath of fresh air in the purest definition, it's definitely far from being considered recycled air.