The Technicolors - Listener
Record Label: Rum Dance Records
Release Date: June 26, 2012
You probably don't know The Technicolors, and that's just fine. In due time you will. The feisty Phoenix rock quartet is certainly a band that is going places. Its brand new album Listener, released last month, debuted in the Top 200 on iTunes, due in part to the anthemic lead single "Sweet Time." The chorus of "Sweet Time," is borrowed straight from the Oasis playbook, while the verses are straight up garage-rock. Though they probably more closely resemble Wolfmother, there's more Oasis swagger on the rousing "Divide," and it is a trait that is repeated throughout the bulk of Listener.
Album opener "Again," is punchy and memorable, as if We Are Scientists spent some time on Abbey Road, while the gossamery "Noah," seems culled from 70s album rock and a Laurel Canyon summer. The triumphant "Alive Everafter," and the jangly "Tomorrow's Eyes," tackle melody and rhythm with aplomb, while the slickly polished "Hollywood," stakes its claim as one of the album's finest moments. Opening with a winning piano line, "Fake a Smile," has armfuls of swagger and represents the sound of a band that knows exactly what they're doing. On songs like this it seems certain that the group is destined for a future paved with riches and magazine covers.
On the title track, the quartet employs a mid-tempo arrangement and brings a sense of vulnerability and familiarity that is nothing short of stunning. The simple delight in "Listener," is that all too often bands with a garage-rock skeleton often find it hard to steer clear of the garage rock playbook. The Technicolors seem to understand that and their range and versatility is probably their biggest asset. Nowhere is that more apparent than on the bonus track "Wicked Game," a credible attempt at Chris Isaak's mega-hit. Tackling Isaak's inimitable vocals and his intricate arrangement is never an easy task, but God bless the band for trying. That this is even included on the disc, and that it does not buckle under the weight of its own ambitions, is why The Technicolors are well worth remembering.
In the end, Listener is worth repeated spins. When talent is present, it is hard to turn away from, and even harder to dislike. That is exactly the case here. And yet for all the many charms of Listener, the strengths of "Noah," "Hollywood," and the title track reveal a wisdom far beyond their years. Score another one for the Arizona rock scene.