MP3 Color Wall - The View From Above
Walls of guitars combined with clever lyrics and at times a punk rock edge give ''The View From Above'' a solid, modern hard rock sound without distancing the band from it''s shoegazer/dreampop roots reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive.
10 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Modern Rock, ROCK: Progressive Rock
If music was a color, what color would it be? It''s an excellent question, especially in the context of Color Wall''s dense guitars reinforced by compelling rhythms and lyrics that paint sharply focused pictures of where we''ve been and where we could be going.
The Los Angeles-based band...Jeff Burgee (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, percussion), Andrew Loeser (drums), Justin Billmeier (guitar) and Andrew Katos (bass) -- are indie rock heroes with a commercial radio advantage. Color Wall established their place on both sides of the independent vs. mainstream divide with the five-song EP, Blue, which made a Top 10 splash on college and specialty radio playlists from coast to coast in 2002, followed by the FMQB Top Twenty success of their 2003 release, Red, which peaked at No. 12 in the country.
However, Color Wall''s steady build began on the foundation laid out in 1997 when the Ralph Lauren Polo Jeans Division tagged them Best Unsigned Band in America, and Modern Rock radio gave the cd single track, Flower, a dizzying 4000 spins.
Color Wall''s fifth release and first full-length CD, The View From Above, produced by Burgee, is poised to take them to even greater heights when it hits store shelves in early 2005. The first emphasis track, ''The Weakest'' is already at a strong advantage, muscling into mainstream Modern Rock radio specialty shows and crossing over to regular playlists. In the mean time, the band is making The View From Above available in advance at https://www.tradebit.com.
"Because we''ve already been getting good airplay, I want to make the CD available to people who go through the effort of searching it down, so they don''t have to wait for it for three months," Burgee says. A smart executive decision as the head of the band''s own label, Lazy Suzan Records (named for Color Wall''s previous incarnation when they towered over the Maryland music scene). Again bridging the indie-mainstream gap, Color Wall''s not-so-lazy Lazy Suzan has been offered a major distribution deal from ADA via Warner Bros. Records.
"We''re a really optimistic band, and I named The View From Above for checking out life and the world from a higher state of mind," Burgee reveals.
It''s always a risky proposition to record a cover of a hit song, but Color Wall, noted for their bold musical ingenuity, took a creative leap of faith with the Cars'' ''Just What I Needed,'' giving it new life with their vibrant interpretation.
"I wanted to use a song that we could do a really good job with, and play it faster than it was originally," explains Burgee, who likes to throw out any one of several hundred cover songs in the middle of Color Wall''s more than 1100 gigs so far. "It''s a live thing. We''ve never just gone for the popular radio song, either, but we''d pick crowd pleasers and do them in our own style."
The band''s credibility as musicians and performers caught the attention of high-profile singer-songwriter Pete Yorn, who played bass with Color Wall when an original member left L.A.
"Our first bass player had to move to Colorado, and Pete had just moved to L.A., had seen us play a couple times, and really liked what we were doing," Burgee recalls. "He said that he had always wanted to play bass in a band, and that he would love to play with us."
As for The View From Above, Burgee spent a year perfecting its vision, pulling songs from the previous EPs Blue and Red, and writing and recording new ones.
"There are moments along the record, and moments along our career that have been hot, that have been red, that have been in-your-face, on-stage, bringing on a two-guitar attack with a bass guitar with a fuzz pedal on it, blowing you away, super bright," Burgee describes, "and then there are times when we really back off of that and get dreamy and shoe-gazery, and be a tranquil blue. This album is a combination of the two, so if our music is a color, this album is purple."
See it with your ears...