Saturday, February 1, 2020

Colour Haze- We are (Elektrohasch EH012)

Colour Haze are back with their 12th release on Elektrohasch.  This album seem to have leaked out early though as it was voted into the top 30 records of 2019 on the Obelisk yet the official release date is March 20th, 2020!!  Anyway, this 40min album is the first to feature keyboard player, Jan Faszbender, as a fully integrated member of the band.  Although, Stefan’s guitar still fully dominates the soundscape, the keyboards play a major role in leading the band in new directions.  All the lyrics fit nicely into the song titles to make this a sort of concept album. The opening track, We Are, gives you a classic Colour Haze guitar riff and groove.  Stefan sings in his higher register.  The Real is a much more melodic track that slowly grows and the keyboards come in the 3min period and even get a small solo in this guitar heavy mix. Nice to see the band really stretch it out. At the 7min point, Stefan returns with some da da da da da…. Vocals to sort of match the guitar line as the song reaches a climax. Life is the last song on side A and starts with just guitar. This is a quite slow track with some nice keyboards to compliment the track but this one really pick up the pace and Manni is a monster of the drums (but low in the mix). The solo section features two layers of guitars (even a bit of wah!!) but keeps its melodic thread through out.  The end section features some synthesizers. This really is a new sound for Colour Haze.

Side B starts off with Material Drive. It is an acoustic guitar track and with an almost western theme at times. Jan’s keyboards are most prominent on this track compared to the rest of the album. No one would think this was Colour Haze if you took the vocal away. Wow…  I’m with You stays in the melodic realm and reminds me of Motorpsycho the way they build the track and the dynamics. Be with Me features some flute and has a great bass and drum groove. The whole band really comes together on this one. I could see this one where they could really take this too cool places live if they are willing to take the chance!! I should also mention Julia adds some vocals on this mostly instrumental track. Fruede III ends the record and starts with Jan laying down the keyboard line that the rest of the song develops from and he also gets to end the track.  Another giant step for Colour Haze towards a more accecible sound but not losing their core. Ballsy….

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