The Color of Violence - Youthanize (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Color of Violence

Youthanize (2009)


Does anyone really view From First to Last as having the best track record? Their first EP was a nü-screamo/pop-punk footnote at best; the followup full-length was like the Used trying to play metalcore; the sophomore effort was actually a pretty decent one, tinged with Nine Inch Nails-esque industrial and Glassjaw-esque groove; but their last record, a self-titled affair, was an awful retread. Who knows what could possibly come from them next, even on the side?

Well, a pretty good album, actually.

FFTL guitarist Travis Richter and drummer Derek Bloom team up in the Color of Violence for a sound that, while not terribly groundbreaking, is an admirable apeing of more intense and angular acts, matching the Blood Brothers' spazziness and Ed Gein's screamy grind tactics with a bit more of a swift dynamic in the melodies (see "Me and My Enormous Spiritual Erection") and a hint of Converge's metallic chug. One would be hard-pressed to call it a legitimate screamo album, but it's a hell of a lot closer than whatever From First to Last has recorded.

The duo take a chance by opening their long-gestating debut, Youthanize, with a cover of Pixies' "Rock Music." Bloom says it was a clever nod to the Pixies, who themselves opened the album "Rock Music" comes from (1990's Bossanova) with a cover, the Surftones' "Cecilia Ann." Makes sense, one supposes, and the band have an interesting and naturally screamy take on it.

There's some careful guitar squeals and sinister melodies that plague the aforementioned "Me and My Enormous Spiritual Erection," and it's one of Youthanize's standout tracks as a result. There are two guests on the record -- the Felix Culpa's Joel Coan and Daughters' Jon Syverson -- and while you can't quite tell who's playing when, Syverson must be involved in the aggravated whirl-around "Christina, Christina," as it totally sounds like a Canada Songs cut (no complaints here), and most likely "Even I Use to Be Sex." Either Coan or Syverson might be on "Crapandemic," since the drums are absolutely pounded in this one. Another major standout comes with the more comprehensible yelps and screams in closer "Look! I Made It! I'm Dating an Actress!", which addresses the idea of 'starfucking' in a vicious and more musically spacious way than the Color of Violence otherwise operate on Youthanize.

Youthanize sounds like it came straight out of 2003, and that's meant in the best way possible. Super solid debut.

Rock Music
God Gave Me Deeze Nutz
Christina, Christina