The Colour Morale are back with their fifth album, a fantastic alternative rock record that speaks for the people who cannot express themselves. ‘The Desolate Divine’ is an album with the dynamics of a band in their full maturity, all while maintaining an incredible hard-hitting punch.
It’s not often that music can make you feel like it’s raining in your own head, but that’s what The Color Morale have achieved. Garret Rapp sounds like he’s singing through a storm, and his message (loudly delivered), is a meek one of self-isolation; he sings on ‘Walls’, “I built these walls to keep the outside world from me / And I’ll fight to keep in the hell of my own mind / It’s safer on the inside.”
That juxtaposition of the supremely noisy music with the introspective lyrics comes off well. It gives an insight into the anxieties of everyday life, the disquieted mind behind the placid look on the man across from you on the subway. The music achieves this feeling too. Far from being a messy affair, the dynamics are broad. The lead guitar swoons in-and-out, a sole screaming banshee, notably on ‘Home Bittersweet Home’, that never over complicates itself when riding alongside the thunderous rhythm section.
The songwriting is top notch, the band stick very firmly to the ‘get to the chorus’ philosophy reminiscent of A Day To Remember, such as in the aforementioned ‘Walls’. This haste is almost their undoing, as in ‘Version Of Me’ the hook comes and goes before you realise.
Arguably, the latter half of the album lacks definition. Once they’ve found their rhythm, songs like ‘Perfect Strangers’ do nothing to change the gears, but even a casual listener will be floored by the musicality. The downfall comes when they try to be a little too cute. The penultimate song ‘Fauxtographic Memory’ has a title that jars irritatingly with the simplicity of the rest. While walking the genre tightrope, their foot has slipped too far into the emo chasm.
The themes of ‘Desolate Divine’ may be of loneliness and self-isolation, but about coming to terms with that, the parting wisdom in the final song, “It’s okay to not be okay / It’s okay to feel this way”. There won’t be a listener unaffected by the sincerity, the rawness on display during this emotional journey. But, when the album ends and you take off your headphones, you’ll find a busy world that doesn’t care.
Written by Chris Yeoh (@Chris_Yeoh)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.