Posted by: pop-break | April 5, 2013

Garden State Headache: The Color Morale, ‘Know Hope’

bobby olivier is a salty dog …

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The album art for The Color Morale’s latest LP, Know Hope, depicts a rusted ship stranded on an island in the middle of the sea.

For the most part, that’s where this record belongs – stuck with shipwrecked sailors unfortunate enough to have only this lackluster gaggle of tracks with which to listen.

OK, maybe I am being a little harsh. But after listening to this metalcore band from Illinois’ third release, I can see why the group is still a fairly unknown opener and not a headliner. There’s a serious lack of originality in the album’s musical composition and lyrics.

know hope

I genuinely enjoyed The Color Morale’s 2011 album, My Devil In Your Eyes, but I was hoping for a more developed offering this time around. Know Hope, released on Mar. 26, is just more of the same – a few redeeming tracks with a whole mess of filler surrounding them.

The album, much like the band, lives and dies by the pipes of lead vocalist Garrett Rapp, who sings and screams for the group. Garrett’s clean vocals are strong and have a smooth, Jonny Craig-esque tone that set this band apart from others when it comes to sung choruses. But Garrett’s screams are very average. An inferior Austin Carlile of Attack Attack! and Of Mice and Men fame comes to mind. Hence, I gravitated to Know Hope songs dominated by clean vocals, which reside mainly on the album’s back half. “Hole Hearted,” “Saviorself” and “Have.Will” are great examples and are legitimately worth a download.

But what really turns me off to this record is the lack of fresh, untapped rhythm and melody. There wasn’t one riff I couldn’t take or leave. “Steadfast” was the only track that seemed new. Everything else could have come out three years ago by another no-name metalcore band and I could have easily been tricked into believing it.

I’m sure the few die-hard “Color” fans, who may have some sort of personal connection to the band, will enjoy this and find more redeeming qualities in the album than I. But for fellow unbiased listeners, I’d look up the track list, start from Track 5 on YouTube, work your way down and decide for yourself whether any of it is worth an iTunes purchase or whatever hack-around the kids are using these days.

If you think I’m a psychopath and you love everything about this, The Color Morale will be touring the eastern part of the U.S. with Like Moths to Flames, Crown the Empire, Palisades and My Ticket Home starting April 19. No Jersey shows, but two in New York and one in Pennsylvania if you are willing to make the drive.

ALBUM RATING: 2 out of 5 stars.

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