By Jono Coote
November 04, 2013
Colt 45 are a band currently making waves both in their native Cumbria and around the rest of the country, especially since their surprise headlining set at the CockRock Festival after planned headliner Wiley walked offstage. Their sound definitely seems destined for more mainstream success – channelling bands such as Hot Water Music, The Menzingers and Jimmy Eat World, with a definite pop rock leaning in both the vocal harmonies which soak the record and the crisp and well-produced guitar work.
From the opening instrumental of ‘Think For Yourself, Question Authority’, melding seamlessly into ‘Everybody Will Let You Down’, the focus is on anthemic guitar riffs and choruses which are guaranteed to have the kids down the front shouting every word. Neil Harper’s vocals have a slight grittiness to them which along with the undeniably good musicianship keeps the songs from sounding overly pop-oriented, and which adds weight to the heartfelt, yearning nature of much of the lyrical content.
Throughout the record there is a definite late ’90s/early 2000s feel, bringing the pop punk sounds which flooded the mid-’90s kicking and screaming into a more mainstream rock scenario a la Millencolin without the speed. Although I can’t say it’s exactly my cup of whisky it is an undeniably promising opening shot which is bound to gain them the right kind of attention, getting just the right balance of faster (‘Brick Wall’, ‘Shit Happens’) and slower (‘I’m Drowning, Not Waving’) numbers.
It is a slice of modern Americana, but hewn from the rain soaked hills of Cumbria and with a melancholy that suits those climes more than the next sun-drenched Californian act to achieve mainstream success. The band is clearly passionate about the music they are playing and as you can probably tell by the above comparisons, they are not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves. As such if you like the above bands you will definitely want to hear this, if you like your music with a little more bite then you may be put off, but I can’t see the next year going by without a lot more coverage for the group.