Wednesday 25 September 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Colored Moth, "Dim"

By: Eeli Helin

Album Type: Full-length
Date Released: 29/08/19
Label: Wolves And Vibrancy Records

”DIM” DD//LP track listing:

1. Letters to Aldous
2. Maelstrom
3. C
4. Whataboutism
5. Cognitive Bias
6. DEL
7. The Social Darwinist Program
8. A
9. Der Blinde Uhrmacher
10. L
11. Indefinite Hiatus
12. M
13. H.useless

The Review:

Colored Moth are a German experimental band who characterise themselves as ambient noise punk, incorporating elements from noise-rock, screamo and post-hardcore, and whose second full-length album "DIM" was released on August 29th through Wolves and Vibrancy Records. Personally I wasn't exactly familiar with the band apart from hearing their previous album "Fragmenting Tensions" partly once. That is also something I slightly regret at the moment, but at least I'll now have more material to sink my teeth into. Silver linings.

Experimentalism tends to be a fancy expression, a polished way of saying "we crammed all these different approaches and influences into one, smashed them to bits and had some fun with the malformed and weird appearing jumble." Given that it's simpler just to throw around that label, the outcome also varies a lot. That tag contains a whole lot of unpredictability and uncertainty, but at best, also the source of being surprising and fascinating for the listener. Even though at times it's hard to wrap your head around their produce, Colored Moth are still from the vital and, well, colourful end of the spectrum.

"Letter to Aldous" kick starts the album in a discordant and emotionally heavy pace. The tones are abrasive and the drive is constant yet gyrating, and this continues through the second track "Maelstrom" as well. Sonically the band is close to the likes of KEN Mode and even early Daughters, though the latter is mainly my observation, don't need any purists to crawl up my ass for it. Rooted in hardcore and expressing themselves very agressively but on the contrary, tangibly touching, the album hits its first quiet waters on "C". There's four of these kind of silent, droning ambient tracks sprinkled throughout the album, respectively titled "C", "A", "L" and "M". Obviously you get the idea by just staring at those letters in that order.

After this brief pause, the band really shows it's teeth with the violently raging, noise-topped "Whataboutism", punkishly advancing and lead-wise deranged "Cognitive Bias", and the simplistical declaring of "DEL". While these tracks start to stand out at this point, it really takes a few listens to get the idea behind them. Each instrumentalist brings their own flavour and feel to the tracks, which all flow like water, all the time. After these and the following one minute dip to the caustic and scorching end of things on "The Social Darwinist Program", the album turns more sectioned and cyclical.

"A" is a bridge to "Der Blinde Uhrmacher" the first slower and perhaps the most fascinating track. The song picks up very haunting and melancholic vibes along the way, letting the listener breathe and sink into the moment. While being instrumental, it feels that Colored Moth's strongest field would surprisingly be here, amidst the less vile and chaotic fields. "L" takes us to the shiver inducing "Indefinite Hiatus". At this moment, the point I just made grows more meaningful, together with the music and compositions. After the last drone piece, the cinematic closer "H.useless" takes the tension to a new level until a tiring, slowly dying clean guitar passage comes to a well-deserved halt.

The album is very, very dualistic, even bipolar. On one hand we have this almost juvenile, rampaging critter, but on the other, there's this mature and thoughtful, oppressing but liberating being. There's a clear division between the two ends, which is why it also feels like a slam to your face each time. The flow isn't problematic at any point, but the unity feels a bit off, mainly during this one bigger, atmospherical shift. I can see the appeal to utilizing the installment approach on an album, albeit the transition is a bit curdled here. To end on a positive note, there's a great deal of beauty hidden in all this cacophony, and it's admirable. I'm surprised there hasn't been more buzz around this band lately, since "DIM" is something that should be more widely taken into account. Colored Moth doesn't reinvent the wheel here, but they show they can quite pleasantly roll it.

”DIM” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook