THE COLOR RED, Clear RCA, It’s a pity that most of the hard rock people get to hear in the mainstream is painfully mediocre. There are surprises from time to time—bands more concerned with their music than the industry’s opinions—but for the most part it’s a pretty sad situation. The Color Red, with their forward-thinking debut Clear, will hopefully join the ranks of bands like Tool and System of a Down: artful bands who create crowdpleasing music without dumbing down their creations for mass consumption. The Color Red are not as quirky as Tool nor politically charged like SoaD, but their thoughtfulness shines through in their music. “Intro/Season” and “Miracles” are drenched in synthesized strings, while “Wrong Replacement” relies heavily on delicate electric guitar work in the verses to work the tried-and-true soft-loud dynamic. Jon Zamora’s voice is perfectly suited to their music—subdued one minute and soaring the next, he makes the most of the music’s ebb and flow. Their mellow passages sometimes resemble the kind of glistening guitar work Radiohead used to great result on OK Computer, so this is in a way a great step away from formulaic radio rock. So perhaps hard rock has a bad rep, with the lowest-common-denominator acts ruining the airwaves for bands with talent and substance. The Color Red don’t fall into this category of clichéd rockers.
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