Colour Revolt is an Oxford, Miss. indie rock act that went surprisingly low-key with their debut full-length, 2008's Plunder, Beg, and Curse. It was a collection of subdued, brooding southern rock tracks released on a largely niche blues label (locals Fat Possum) that came after the band had toured with Brand New, re-released their debut EP proper on a subsidiary of Interscope, and played SXSW. It seems their newest record, The Cradle, is receiving a little more prominence, and that's appropriate--while the band's aforementioned EP is a tough peak to overcome in fans' minds (myself included), The Cradle feels a little more enlivened and subtly versatile than the band's first LP.
Colour Revolt seem to recognize this. Granted, this very tour is in support of the recently released record, but they definitely stocked their headlining set with plenty of its songs last week at the intimate Mercury Lounge, nestled in the Lower East Side, and while it seemed more like a sampler for the crowd, the band plowed through the songs with precision and clarity.
I'd unfortunately missed most of opener Turbo Fruits (ex-Be Your Own Pet), having dined at the nearby Katz's for the first time as a pseduo-Rosh Hashanah celebration. My friend and I caught their last song--a jammed-out, loosely rocking cover of the Who's "Shakin' All Over" that few seemed to recognize.
Even with a greater energy on The Cradle, these days Colour Revolt's live show is indelibly deliberate and oddly tense in comparison to frontman Jesse Coppenbarger's earlier days of caustic freakouts during sets (several years back). But it commanded the crowd's attention well, anyway, and Coppenbarger was sure to interrupt the brood with plenty of spastic guitar-rock fits, showing off a little more Built to Spill and Dino Jr. influence than usual.
His hushed, drawl-tinged saunter was often harmonized by fellow guitarist/vocalist and similar-sounding Sean Kirkpatrick; any time the two breathed together it added an audibly powerful front to the songs. But it wasn't the only element utilized well, as keyboardist Brooks Tipton was there to tastefully apply synth tones wherever appropriate. And he would sometimes violently rock forward, to the point it looked like his setup would spill to the stage. The only time this aggression hurt the band was when the cymbal stand shit the bed for drummer Daniel Davison during "She Don't Talk." He shrugged it off, though, and finished the song with what fate gave him.
After initially saying they were finished, the band added two more songs that really made the set a worthwhile night; however, it wasn't so much an encore as it was venue admin granting them another 10 minutes. CR used it wisely: They played hook-laden Curse standout "Moses of the South" and the beautifully pensive "Mattresses Underwater" (from the EP) to raucous response. The crowd had been super polite throughout, consistently respectful of each others' respective spaces; during this pseudo-encore, it was no different, but everyone looked plenty more alive and responsive, probably thankful to hear a little more familiar material.
Set list (9:09-9:50):
- Our Names
- She Don't Talk
- Naked & Red
- The Cradle
- 8 Years
- A New Family
- Mona Lisa
- Moses of the South
- Mattresses Underwater