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Colossal - Colossal (Cover Artwork)

Colossal

Colossal: ColossalColossal (2003)
Asian Man Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: greg0rbgreg0rb
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Say hello to another band of Slapstick family lineage. Long-time-no-see Rob Kellenberger returns to the drum set backing yet another different style band: Colossal, a quartet that sports traits reminiscent of American Football, with their clean arpeggiated guitars and the occasional trumpet lick. .
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Say hello to another band of Slapstick family lineage. Long-time-no-see Rob Kellenberger returns to the drum set backing yet another different style band: Colossal, a quartet that sports traits reminiscent of American Football, with their clean arpeggiated guitars and the occasional trumpet lick. If you liked AF, there is a good chance you will like Colossal and if you didn't like AF, wellâ?¦ you may still like Colossal anyways because in some ways these guys are even better.

I guess I should describe Colossal's sound a bit for the rest of you. There is not a single note of distorted guitar on this EP, yet this does not stop them from varying dynamics and rocking out nicely. Delicate, intricately woven guitar lines often become vigorously strummed chords with drums moving to the forefront by riding on the crash. Pat Ford, with his smooth voice often in the bass range, adds to the mellow feeling, yet Rob lays beats underneath that force you to nod your head.

It becomes apparent shortly into the first track, "Human Jackson," that Colossal's lyrics are more than the "woops, maybe this song should have wordsâ?¦" lyrics of American Football. While the lyrics are more constant, that doesn't mean there are overly poppy sing-along choruses here. There are some great melodies nonetheless and lyrics that make me wish they were included in the booklet (actually, I found them later on the band's website). Also, three minutes into the song is the first taste of trumpet when Jason Flaks puts his guitar aside and belts out a simple sustained jazz line over the changing meters, with a good tone and even some vibrato.

"Embers Only," my favorite track on the EP starts with a driving pulse that settles into a groove as the trumpet enters, with a deceptively easy-sounding line consisting of jumps and syncopated rhythms- a line that returns throughout the track. The vocals are so low that most of us would have a hard time singing along, but after the second verse, they burst into Braid style scream-singing by a couple of the guys in unison repeating the line "Trust we'll defy time and the posture you define." It then settles back down and fades into atmospheric guitar for the outro. "Plateau Song" is one of the places where Ford hands off the vocals to another member, a quality that lends even more diversity from song to song, because this guy (not sure which one) has a higher, more edgy character to his voice.

The EP reaches a feverish peak in the last track "Brave the Elements" at 2 ½ minutes in, when the drums break out into pounding sixteenth-note snare fills underneath the sixteenths of "If you cover one eye / you cover one eye / you cover one eye / you'll never forget this" leading to the highest note Ford sings on the whole disc sustaining "riding home / I will arrive," a powerful end to a solid disc. At 6 tracks with 25 minutes of high-quality indie rock in the vein of a more upbeat American Football, this is definitely worthy of your consideration.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (July 9, 2004)

Pat Ford is the man, I loved it when he was in "speed this is metal" with tim o' donell of "the candyland riots" and matt carlson. He was also in the "National" which rocked! Pat was the drummer for STIM so it shows how talented the kid is! I wish they would play out more, but i know the drummer has duty with duvall. definitely a must get cd!

Anonymous (March 2, 2004)

this came in the mail today. A good day indeed. I've never been rocked this hard by a band that doesn't use distortion but the arpeggiated passages are so good too.

Anonymous (November 3, 2003)

This album Rules... I can't stop listening to it I also think they are better than good charlotte

Anonymous (June 15, 2003)

Acutally the non-Pat Ford singer on this ablum is Jason Flaks, not Rob Kellenberger. Though you're right that he sings backup on Tuesday (and I think Slapstick); he also sings backup on this album.
And he sings all day at work, but that's another story.

Anonymous (May 19, 2003)

think WEDDING PRESENT, SUPERCHUNK, or PAVEMENT if we need to compare them to other bands. these guys obviously have record collections of more substance than you would expect from an American Football fan. COLOSSAL has gone to trouble of writing unique and engaging songs, so you better listen. the search for music of this quality is an arduous one. don't let amazing bands go extinct. if you do, you have nothing to complain about when you coffee or beer over how 'music these days is a pile of shit.'

Anonymous (May 14, 2003)

This cd is amazing

greg0rb (May 14, 2003)

They are from Elgin IL, so they play the Chicagoland area and the midwest a lot... so no, not just CA.

Anonymous (May 14, 2003)

good stuff. does this band only play CA?

-feedmynightmare

Anonymous (May 13, 2003)

good live.

Anonymous (May 13, 2003)

Apparently three times.

Dubar (May 13, 2003)

how many times can you say "american football" in one review?

pope_schlomo (May 13, 2003)

This shit is so fuckin good. I call this bar lounge rock mixed with jazz. Makes you want to wallow and swallow that beer. I could listen to "Human Jackson" for 10 straight hours and I won't get tired.

Ramo
(too lazy to write a review for this great disc)

Anonymous (May 13, 2003)

"I also like how, if you look closely at the cover, you can see the word "colossal" spelled out with all the gears and such."

Scott, you say a lot of dumb shit on this site, but c'mon man! I don't wanna nag you too much though because I am grateful for what your doing here.

Anonymous (May 13, 2003)

I may be wrong, but maybe the other singer you mentioned was actually Rob Kellenberger himself. I think he's an extremely talented drummer and from what i hear, the guy can sing too. I think he sang backup in Tuesday and Slapstick too.

tenderbransonx (May 13, 2003)

Might have to check this one out. Gotta love the Asian Man products. You ever notice that even their bad bands seem to have decent lyrics?
-steven www.murdertheturtle.com

maverick (May 13, 2003)

This CD is uber-good.

I also like how, if you look closely at the cover, you can see the word "colossal" spelled out with all the gears and such.

-Scott

Anonymous (May 13, 2003)

cool...dudes are like in their 30's but make great music.

LTB

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