So imagine you’re in college and you’re in a band. You and four college buddies play shows on school nights and eventually record an EP. Your EP generates some buzz and even gets re-released by a major record label. The major label cuts ties with your band, but now you get to sign to an indie label, and a well-respected indie label at that. Then you release your debut LP on the well-respected indie label, but it doesn’t meet expectations and the well-respected indie label drops your band. Then three of your band mates quit.
If I were in this situation, I would gladly bid adieu to the band and call it a day. But this isn’t my story, it’s the story of Colour Revolt. Well, what’s left of Colour Revolt: Jesse Coppenbarger and Sean Kirkpatrick. Coppenbarger (lead vocals and guitar) and Kirkpatrick (lead guitar and vocals) have survived the ups and downs of the indie rock life and aren’t giving up on their band. This past year, they started their own label and corralled various musicians in order to record The Cradle, Colour Revolt’s second LP after 2008’s Plunder, Beg, and Curse.
The title of The Cradle certainly brings to mind the idea of rebirth, and the fact that Colour Revolt is still making music is a testament to that idea. The music that accompanies this rebirth takes an honest look back at what the band has experienced—as in the opening song “8 Years” where Coppenbarger sings about band life on the road—but also moves on to tell new stories.
Colour Revolt started in Oxford, Mississippi, home of the late, great American storyteller William Faulkner, and now the re-born version of the band calls Jackson, Mississippi their home. Their gritty mixture of propulsive drums, electric guitar and bass, and Coppenbarger’s slightly moaning vocals convey their Deep South roots and storytelling sensibility.
Knowing Colour Revolt’s journey up to The Cradle gives you an appreciation of who the band is now and where they come from. In February, Jesse Coppenbarger posted a letter on Colour Revolt’s Myspace updating fans of the band’s journey and why they are continuing it:
We’ve had a few lineup changes. Many people thought we had or should have broken up. But we have so much more music and things to talk about and stories to tell. There are so many more paths we envision for this band and things we never accomplished musically that we still have to do. And why do it now? Because we have the best songs we’ve ever written.
Not a bad reason at all.
- Ben Dixon