Review: Coloursound

Legends in their own times, Billy Duffy, the axeman for The Cult, and Mike Peters, the front-man for The Alarm, have teamed up to create an album of full-throttle, guitar-driven rockers and melodic alterna-pop hits. Although this project was born out of mutual respect and friendship not ambition, their collaboration to reconquer the airwaves makes good marketing sense. Both of these blokes rose and fell from fame with a series of popular "alternative" albums in the Eighties and early Nineties, only to be left standing apart from their respective bands. Technically, The Cult's disbanding has turned out to be only a hiatus since they've recently reformed to tour and record another album, making Duffy's participation in Coloursound merely an interesting side-project between Cult gigs. The Alarm, however, effectively parted ways for good when Peters shook the dust off his feet exiting the stage during a show (let's just say he knows how to make an exit.) Although, Peters has maintained an impressive solo career for himself through a trio of acclaimed solo albums of impressive quality and high energy, he has not reclaimed his former and deserved radio air-play stature.

With many projects to their individual credit neither Duffy nor Peters really needed each other, but the pairing of their talents sure does sound like a brilliant way to reclaim some of the spotlight they've been missing. They are helped along here by a tight rhythm section consisting of bass guitar player Craig Adams, formerly of the Mission, and Scott Garrett, formerly of many bands, including a brief stint with The Cult.

As far as the shades of modern rock go, the colour of this collective sound is multi-hued and incandescent: modern rock that shimmers and shakes with high energy and appropriate rock and roll fury. If you are especially fond of guitar-driven anthems along the same lines these artists have delivered in the past, this project will be especially pleasing to you. Coloursound is the sound of a band that has not distanced themselves too far from their roots. Mike Peter's powerful caterwauling firmly recalls his former days fronting The Alarm. He still has an impressive set of pipes, whether he is shouting to the bleachers in the balcony or whispering a ballad. Duffy, by his own admission, is not one of the world's greatest guitar players, but he still knows how to crank out a catchy guitar riff. Fans of his work on Cult albums like Electric and Sonic Temple are treated to similar stuff here. Overall, the past and present collide to create the expected chemistry, causing great rock and roll moments to sound decidedly cool and contemporary.

To be fair, there isn't a clunker in this cache of cuts. A dignified diversity of sound, effects, energy, and overall songwriting make for a memorable, enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, there aren't enough runaway stand-out songs like "Alive" and "Under the Sun," to sustain the magic. If you are looking to revisit some of the glory of the past, than this album makes for a perfect side-bar to your Cult, Alarm, or Mike Peters collections. Unfortunately, it also adds very little new or noteworthy to the annals of modern rock. Given the talent of both Peters and Duffy, fans might have expected them to reach greater heights of creativity. Despite their considerable efforts, however, Coloursound is merely "solid" and "recommended," when it could have been "brilliantly breathtaking."

Author::Steven Stuart Baldwin

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