Staked somewhere between radio-friendly anthemia and clinical metalcore clout, the strident confidence and genuine lyrical fire with which The Color Morale deliver their thoroughly modern breed of melody and muscle is, unlike many of their peers, legitimately affecting. Odes to abiding hardship and inner pain, set to a smouldering backdrop of post-hardcore aggression, may sound somewhat cornball and old-hat, yet ‘Hold On Pain Ends’ offers up all the humanity and instrumental fortitude of a band steeped in emotional potency.
Guitars sear and stomp with a wide-eyed urgency; the likes of ‘Outer Demons’ and ‘Lifeline (Left To Write)’ encapsulating all the stop/start weight of the scenes most tech minded, coupled with a backbone of de rigueur breakdown bloodthirst (check out ‘Suicide; Stigma’ for some particularly spittle flecked drops). Indeed, from glimpses of full throttle punk rock clamour and almost mathcore rhythmic stabbing (‘Developing Negative’), The Color Morale certainly have the versatility game nailed down.
The ace in the hole here, however, comes in the form of the phenomenal chorus hooks on display. Vocalist Garrett Rapp turns in perhaps the performance of his career, sending forth a relentless flood of infectious refrains and gut-wrenching gusto which, not only sees the replay value of ‘Hold On Pain Ends’ boundless, but confirms the value of an outfit which place great store in abandoning scene pandering for sheer, heart exposed honesty and, ultimately, saying something worth listening too.
Unapologetic in its message, this is a record which manages to portray its over-arching sentiment without diluting the strident musicality and fist-pumping dramatics. It all falls together to make a formidable impression, and whether it’s the poignancy or the distinctive punch that’s taken away, ‘Hold On Pain Ends’ is an intensely thrilling piece of work.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)