HGR CD Review: Modern Colour

MODERN COLOUR – MODERN COLOUR (no label) Philadelphia’s Modern Colour first surfaced in 2011, offering their own variation on classic-flavored blues rock. Their self-titled sophomore recording introduces listeners to seven boisterous, blues-infused rockers with some interesting variations along the way. The group’s base sound recalls the hard-rocking soulful edge of classic Robin Trower, the funkier side of Black Crowes, and the heavy blues thunder of Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The battery of drummer Tom Weir and bassist Chris Boyle anchors Modern Colour’s sound with powerful, erupting rhythms; while guitarist/frontman Stephan Sirochman delivers crashing chords, stinging solos and soaring, soulful vocals. The songs each demonstrate sharp, catchy hooks and melodies, with the band’s abundant firepower driving them forward full force. The disc-opener “Can’t Hide,” “Love to Hate” and the disc-closer “The Setback” rock full-tilt with almost reckless abandon. “Come Down” filters a Motown-like beat into a driving, rowdy rhythm. “Mercury” rides along Boyle’s particularly beefy bass riff and Weir’s drum thunder. “J.B. Walkin’” and “Shoot from the Hip” both suggest Victims of the Fury-era Robin Trower with their distillation of soulful swagger and blues-rooted crunch. The performances are vibrant and enthusiastic, and Sirochman’s voice rises to the challenge of each song, often pushing to the emotional brink. Ron DiSilvestro’s production and mix gives Modern Colour’s presentation a deep fullness that makes listeners almost forget that this is a trio; yet all three musicians individually shine while serving the songs’ tight arrangements. Blues-rock connoisseurs should take note of Modern Colour; this EP serves notice that this group has the goods to command some attention. (The CD can be obtained from CDBaby.com, or through the group’s website, www.moderncolourmusic.com.)