Gone To Color by Gone To Color
15 Oct 2021
You could write all the Atlanta and Washington based electronic rock duos I know on the back of a stamp but that ends today! After a drawn out introduction comprised of no less than 6 tasters released over the last year Gone to Color have today released their self titled debut album.
If you have paid any kind of attention to these guys over the last year then the main thing you are going to notice about this release is the disappointing number of titles written on the back. Sadly we only have two new tracks and less than 35 minutes of music. If you were content enough with those 6 releases then this record serves a purpose but if you were in any way hopeful for new material then you're going to be disappointed.
What Gone to Color seem to focus on is providing a musical backdrop to showcase a parade of unique vocals. This record boasts an interesting mix of features including Kurt Wagner of Lambchop, Martina Topley-Bird and Carson Cox of Merchandise. This variety really necessitates thought through sequencing and that may have missed the mark. The albums opener The 606 is not exactly a fanfare. The snare tries desperately to raise the temperature in the second half but overall it leaves me wanting. The musical composition doesn't match the structure of Jessie Steins dreamy vocal performance that deserves a more structured platter to be presented on. I would have preferred something punchier to open up with and there are choices on this album that would have been much more comfortable in that position. Illusions feat. Ade Blackburn wastes no time with drawn out introductions. Ten seconds in we have layers of electronic ambiguity washing behind Blackburn's purposeful but tired voice. This should have sat up front.
Gone To Color tend to produce fairly stripped back and understated pieces that work with a vocal composition but risk sounding incomplete without. The one instrumental on the record, Redok, is however, surprisingly enjoyable. Darkly atmospheric and with a clear direction that some of the other tracks lack, Redok makes me wonder if Gone to Color are at times relying on vocals too heavily rather than working with them. I would gladly listen to more instrumental work and feel this may be an avenue they are greatly underestimating.
If you are looking for a catchy hook, repetitive bass lines or a pick me up then this album is not for you. Beneath the layers and in the cracks, however, there is some good work in there that perhaps just needs to be better presented. I'll keep an eye out for any future works without the word 'featuring' but for now this is being re-sleeved. The album is out now so please take a listen and let me know what you think.