Twenty years on from their debut work, Mike Peters and Billy Duffy decide it’s time to follow up with COLOURSØUND II.
Release date: 16th July 2021
Label: Twenty First Century Recordings
Format: digital / CD / LP
“Let this be the start of something beautiful,” Peters sings at the start of the record. It could well be if it weren’t for the fact he and Billy Duffy are long-time pals who first released music together under the name twenty years ago.
Originally filling a Cult/Alarm sized gap, the partnership is renewed as the resurgence in the day jobs slackens and of course, we find ourselves with some time on our hands. Locating themselves to a beach cottage in a remote part of the North Wales coastline to write the songs, you can just imagine the beginning of Addiction evolving in these sessions. The album was recorded between lockdowns at the Chapel Studio in Lincolnshire. Accompanied by bassist George Williams and Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros drummer Smiley, the set comfortably achieves Billy Duffy’s desire to produce a simple and direct rock record.
You could never accuse Mike Peters of being anything less than passionate. The same applies to Billy Duffy – in guitar terms naturally. He’s never better than when he’s laying down something from that low-slung axe that might seem so simple yet sends goosebumps and makes the hair stand on end. That’s just what they’ve done on these new songs. Within a few moments, the clarion calls of “Let’s go, let’s go!” and Duffy’s exemplary riffing on Lightning Strike, you know you’re holding a golden ticket.
The duo has seemed to revel in going back to basics, doing what they do best. “This is not The Cult, nor is it The Alarm.” they say. “This is Coloursøund – alive because it exists.” However, all the signature ingredients are there. The duo is the thinking man’s version of Axl and Slash – with integrity. Something confirmed by the sudden acceleration in the outro of the aforementioned Lightning Strikes. The same trick comes with Revelation too.
And it’s not just a flash in the pan. One of those albums where you’re fired up by the single but the album fails to take off. Not one of those albums where they lead with the best tracks then run out of steam. Dare I say, it’s like the England football squad – an embarrassment of riches on the bench. Strength in depth.
Why slows the tempo into a Morricone atmosphere-inspired piece that sways and echoes in reverb before heading into something that crosses punk-lite with anthemic qualities. Start A Fire also diverts in a vaguely blusier direction but these are minor departures from the harder rock vein. We’re soon back on course with a series of classic Duffy riffs and Peters ‘not-quite’ political rabble-rousing. “Hello, hello – your city is united, our differences do not divide us, ” Peters encourages in The Other Side.
It’s left to the downing of the guitar (bar for the chorus that may well have been the starting point for this track) for the duo to sign out with Mourning Call. After sating themselves with an overdose of rock, the swirling psychedelia is a palate cleanser. A snaking groove is a hint of things that might come. The sort of experimentalism that U2 did so well with Achtung Baby and hopefully not another twenty years in the making.
Intriguing. And at a time when Ginger Wildheart is sadly tweeting about talking of quitting the gig/live music scene, Coloursound could easily offer some redemption for distraught Wildhearts fans. Simply a fantastic rock record.
Here’s the video of the opening track Paradise (Free People) here: