The Color Turning – Good Hands Bad Blood

The Color Turning - Good Hands Bad Blood

The Color Turning - Good Hands Bad Blood

There’s no doubt that the commercial and critical success of U2, Radiohead and Coldplay have had a heavy influence on the rock community, which is not necessarily a bad thing. As long as bands don’t imitate, but rather innovate, and use U2’s guitar dynamics, Radiohead’s textured and atmospheric alt-rock and Coldplay’s vibrant alterna-pop as a jumping off place to create something that may be quite similar but also sounds unique and fresh at the same time. A tall task to say the least. But whether intending to or not, The Color Turning appear to be trying to do just that, and have seemingly achieved this delicate balance in the process. If I were to grade them, I would give them an A.

To be successful at such a task requires a certain mastery of instruments as well as songcraft, and this 5-piece from Los Angeles exhibit both over the course of the 11 tracks on their terrific debut album Good Hands Bad Blood. Some may be initially put off by the sound, as the major influences appear on the surface of every song. But it if you let that stop you from exploring further, you will miss out on a solid record that intrigues and entertains a little more with each listen.

The Color Turning is not afraid to stretch and bend their influences by adding creative, subtle textures and ambient rumblings to their echoing, quieter segments, and pushing the songs ahead with crafty, high energy indie-rock and vibrant, sometimes fuzzy, guitar riffs. In ways similar to Saddle Creek recording artists Now It’s Overhead, these artists explore indie-rock polyrhythms, with airy, effects-laden guitars and melancholy keyboard melodies rolled up in lush and dynamic arrangements. The results are a new strain of experimental, alternative rock that also draws comparisons to the stylistic Brit-pop of Snow Patrol, Travis, South and Doves. And while it may sometimes slip into the more commercial sounding, anthemic, guitar-based indie-rock, there is way more engaging music below the surface to forgive these fleeting transgressions. It is, after all, the band’s rookie effort.

The tracks are well orchestrated and arranged as some songs slowly build from dreamy intros as others fade out with curious atmospherics. Some come at you full on with a pop sheen surrounding the textured indie-rock as the rest suck you in slowly with intriguing sound effects that color the background.

The Color Turning should not only be commended on their excellent music but also for taking on such a daunting task for their first record. They could have easily eaten a bag and stumbled out of the blocks, but instead have channeled their influences into a grade A debut album and have positioned themselves for a bright future.

Recommended Tracks: “Slow As Passing Cars”, “Phantom Parade” and “Me Versus Me”

Recommended If You Like (RIYL): Radiohead, Now It’s Overhead, Doves and Coldplay

The Color Turning:

Team Clermont:

Softdrive Records: