My Body Sings Electric: Changing Color
My Body Sings Electric are no ordinary group of musicians. They love music–not only when they’re on stage. A few words with any of these guys and you’ll feel their affinity for music almost instantly.
And while yes, I am close with these guys and have a huge amount of respect for what they do, that’s not why I love Changing Color.
Late in 2010, the band trekked out west to Portland, Oregon to record this 10 song LP with Stephan Hawkes, who has worked with such amazing records by Dance Gavin Dance, Fear Before, and Closure In Moscow–and, perhaps most notably, worked on Ugly Colors “Perfect As We Are.”
Hearing an assortment of demos over the years, I wasn’t sure what to expect from these guys. When they found their mark, they were spot on. But, more often than not, it seemed each member of the band seemed determine to shine over one another. Their absolutely insane guitarists’ Nick Crawford and Jeff Fedel seemed to shine a little too bright; their singer’s voice a bit too sharp; their bass and drums not quite tight. It was almost there, but not quite.
“Changing Color” is perhaps the perfect revelation of a band who have a sense of renewed control and confidence. The songs are cohesive and tight. The riffs are neatly packed into spaces they seem to fill; the vocals aptly mixed. Largely a result of the excellent song reconstruction, pre-production and huge overall improvement in sound quality, it’s very clear the exact sound My Body Sings Electric are going for. The impeccable riffs on the album’s second track, “Living Proof” are gratifying and huge; Whalen’s voice is charged with enthusiasm and positivity. That is probably at the heart of “Changing Color” as a whole–it’s bright and reflective of the each member’s characteristically uplifting attitude.
My Body Sings Electric’s sound might be the result of a flawless combination of good tastes. The members regularly listen to bands like Circa Survive, Ugly Colors, Edison Glass, and As Tall As Lions: and due especially to singer Whalen’s sense of melody and their guitarists’ superb technical capabilities, their sound showcases their taste.
Sure, some of the moments on the record might miss the mark a little bit–the drum roll intro on “Step Into the Light” is a bit too much, the dark melodies vibe to match on “Porcelain Skin” tend to stray from the better courses taken on the more uplifting tracks (actually, I could probably do without that track altogether, as it’s a bit too distinctly reminiscent of Circa Survive’s “Mandala”). Despite these shortcomings, it’s impossible to deny the strength and charm of “Changing Color” as a whole. The tight packed riffs and supercharged guitars are only met with more well-structured bass lines and continually solid melodies.
It might be because I’m proud of them, or it might be because the guys in this band have the exact same taste as me–but today, I can honestly say that I can’t help but get excited at the very thought of listening to this record. Congratulations, guys.
April 17th update: You can listen to “Living Proof,” the amazing second track on “Changing Color” right here.
— Andrew Martin, 04/01/2011