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The Art of War

By Mike Breen · February 15th, 2011 · Spill It

Cincinnati Metalcore band I Am The Messenger signed a record deal with Iowa-based indie label Bombworks Records and this weekend the band celebrates the first results of the new partnership. Saturday at Covington’s Mad Hatter, the group introduces The War Between with a hometown release party featuring guests To Die For, Conditional Compromise, Give Us the Night, Cosmic Affliction and Small Time Crooks. The show is open to all ages and begins at 6 p.m.

On its Bombworks debut, I Am The Messenger sharpens and expands its ferocious sound, resulting in an album that is eclectic and adventurous, showing a progressive approach to structure and a willingness to incorporate Metal influences old and new. The switchblade guitar riffs slash and burn, often locking in with the lunging, syncopated rhythms to create a stabbing effect, but at other times adding skronky dissonance and high-ceilinged but still hard-charging atmospherics. The drumming rumbles thunderously, but also shifts to a more musical approach when a song’s dynamics call for it. Creeping synths and keyboards add to the album’s winding dynamics, shaping the music’s underlying textures.

The band’s two-headed vocal approach, combining melodic singing and a devilish roar, takes a moment to adjust to — the dichotomy of the bloodcurdling, eye-bulging growls and the earnest, emotive, downright poppy singing wouldn’t seem like it would work.

But on The War Between, IATM’s dedication to the kaleidoscopic approach and development of a more harmonious, less jarring blend makes it easier to appreciate.

With wider distribution, I Am The Messenger is well positioned to build a bigger legion of followers with its something-for-(almost)-everyone style. Even though the label offers comparisons to Underoath and Devil Wears Prada, I Am The Messenger’s music is its own gloriously schizo beast, a confluence of various Metal elements that are combined, exploded and imaginatively pieced back together. (iamthemessenger.bandcamp.com)

Living Colour

Saturday at The Mockbee (on Central Parkway in Brighton), Electronic band Dark Colour unveils its new album, Memories, with support from Rhode Lines, Matthew Tyler Ray, The Megabeast and Mandarin. The 10 p.m. shindig will also include a screening of Dark Colour’s video for the song “Don’t Let It Stop.” unveils its debut album,

Like a lot of Electronic projects these days, Dark Colour began as a solo effort. Young singer/songwriter Randall Rigdon created the 10-track Memories on his own, later forming a full band to perform live. On Memories, Rigdon crafted a collection of Synth-driven Pop that fits in with some of today’s celebrated ElectroPop artists, including Empire of the Sun and The Postal Service, but stands apart with an endearingly tattered quality that adds more warmth to the sound. It’s not as raw as, say, Neon Indian’s spooky, noisy spin on Electronica, but Dark Colour’s music has a similar grainy, spectral aura.

While Memories mostly makes for a solid listening experience, the melodies don’t always jump out of the speakers and the songs aren’t immediately gripping. But Rigdon does show a keen understanding of Pop and the melodic pieces are likely to fall together a little better on future releases. As it stands, Dark Colour’s Memories is a fun album for fans of jubilant, vintage/modern synthesizer workouts and a strong first step for the young singer/songwriter/instrumentalist (www.myspace.com/darkcolourmusic)

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen@citybeat.com



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