The History Of Colour TV: Emerald Cures Chic Chills – album review

The History Of Colour TV ‘Emerald Cures Chic Chills’ (Saint Marie Records)
Released 20th May 2013

Debut album from the Berlin formed and based The History Of Colour TV; the band forming in late 2010 having initially been created as an experimental solo project, then gradually developing into a fully-fledged band; so far they have self released a couple of singles and EP’s but having recently signed to Chicago based shoegaze purveyors Saint Marie Records their star is certainly in the ascendency…

To be fair, to (perhaps) burden The History Of Colour TV within the shoegaze genre is to do them a great dis-service; there is so much more within this recording – a collision of majestic pop melodies and rivet gun industrial swathes of noise with sub currents of drone.

‘Let’s Get Sick’ stars with 6 seconds of barely audible noise, just long enough to have you reaching for the remote to raise the volume…when suddenly they go it for, a huge wall of noise built around a repeated keyboard refrain; deep down in the mix hushed vocals, ‘I Knew It Was Wrong But I Did It Anyway’ is like Ladytron with male vocals, a strident energetic beat nestles beneath all manner of noises and effects. The History Of Colour TV have crafted some hugely dramatic soundscapes, ‘Suddenlines’ has a cinematic feel, there is a sense of mystical fragility about this, a feeling equally evoked during the instrumental Interference; ‘1-800- BADNITE’ has an annoying click beat that again has you checking either the CD or turntable for unwelcome crud…’Mend’ opens with a heavy maelstrom of industrial textured noise, walls of feedback giving way to cavernous drones which over the course of nearly 8 minutes build towards a triumphant key board riff, whilst ‘SXRX’ blends the massed harmonics of a choir with the sounds of a seriously mangled angle grinder…

An album of huge semi industrial soundscapes with a nod to shoegazing – if you had never heard of My Bloody Valentine and Ladytron, then this could be a revelation; however if you have, The History Of Colour TV will not offer you anything particuarly new; that’s fine if you are looking for lush melodies underpinned by the reassuring squall of mechanised steel, however I get the feeling if The Colour Of TV forged their own path the rewards could be so much greater and its this I find frustrating; this is an album with hints of promise that fails to fully materialise – but is certainy worthy of inspection.


1. Let’s Get Sick
2. I Knew It Was Wrong But I Did It Anyway
3. Suddenlines
4. Selisse Estates
5. Interference
6. 1-800-BADNITE
7. Mend
9. 2X1X
10. Going To Stay

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


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