If at first you don’t succeed, make your own rules. This is the mantra that Louisville band The Colours of Kings uses for motivation and it’s a theme that you can hear throughout their debut EP Up. Much of the charm that accompanies this album and offers a sense of perspective comes from the band’s witty, honest description of themselves and the music they sought to make. Up takes the theme of human nature and cloaks it in easily digestible new wave pop rock tracks that grasp the mind and get stuck in your head for days.
“My Heart is a Drum Machine” kicks the EP off with a layered rhythm of keyboards and simple drum track. The lyrics are clearly written and the vocals are perfectly suited for this style of music. I found myself humming along to the chorus fairly quickly, and enjoyed the electrified guitar solo halfway through. The second track is titled after the band’s name, and seems to serve as an autobiographical song. The lyrical content of this song is deeper than the preceding track; the metaphor describes a person pretending to be grandiose but is simply hiding behind a mask of lies.
“This Year’s Hometown Hero” starts with an impressive low end that supports the song. Here, we find more attitude and hear a more raw representation of the music being played. The vocals get stronger and stronger with each successive track, and nicely take turns with a swirling melody. The EP closes on a more heartfelt note with “We’re An Archipelago.” Though it follows a similar composition and overall musical style to the other songs, this one sounds a bit more mournful and sad, almost wistful. It ends quickly, opting to close things out with a bang rather than drawing them out.
In the context of the album as a whole, it’s a fitting close. This is what you want from an EP: enough similarities between songs to give a good idea of the band’s general sound, but enough differences to give a sense of range and keep things interesting. I love that though the songs sound upbeat and poppy and are easy to listen to, the lyrical content is deep and well written poetry; it provides a contrast of expectations that is a lot of fun to explore and hear. This is a great debut piece, and it will be interesting to see how this band grows and to hear where their music will go from this point forward.
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