Indie pop-rock band Color School, come from Washington, DC. The band members include Jerry Hergenreder (guitars and vocals), Camille Miller (vocals and guitar), Bill Kalish (drums), Paul Hyland (bass) and guest studio bass player Jimmy Cavanaugh, who appears on the band’s EP, “Close Enough To Fix”. The band features what must be the most versatile vocalists that I have heard in a while. Both Jerry and Camille are outstanding, and nothing short of captivating together, on “What’s On Your Mind”, which for me is also the best track on the EP. If only for the fact that it captures all the lighting in a bottle that this band is capable of producing – catchy hooks, smart songwriting, tons of melody, luscious harmonies and jangly guitar rhythms. Of course like any creative indie band, they can also do a whole more.
For band with declared garage pop tendencies, Color School have a rare sense of class and atmosphere. All of which they forge on the soulful mid-tempo ballad, “Another Heartache”, with Camille Miller in an introspective and starry eyed mood.
One step backwards though, and you can savor all the upbeat bombast of “Before Now”. Banging drums, booming runaway basslines and angular guitar strums abound on this track, quickly showcasing the versatility of this band. In an era when it’s a treat to find a recording with even two good songs to justify its purpose, it’s a thrill to have back to back great songs on “Close Enough To Fix”.
From the top, the EP opens with what we could call, Color School’s signature jangly guitar motifs, on “Control”. The beauty of this music lies in its ability to blend in heart-melting vocals that glide over honest, simple, yet profound lyrics and resonating organic instrumentation to create a unique, yet nostalgic musical experience.
The result is reverberating layers of sound that intensify your need to deeply ponder and dance at the same time. “Own” producers the same effect. Maybe even more so, considering the tempo moves up a notch or two.
With the melody and Camille’s voice alone, “Own” would be worthwhile. But the guitars, drums and bass makes it truly distinctive and exquisite. Which brings us to “Issue”, technically and instrumentally, the EP’s centerpiece.
The entire band sounds as if they’ve switched into cruise control here, and just to make sure we’ve gotten the message, that they’re in their comfort zone, Jerry Hergenreder unleashes a crisp and clean guitar solo. The sound is high quality, and the execution flawless.
Another point of absolute interest, is the terrific audio quality experience. The instrument separation on these songs is out of this world. You can identify every hit and instrument, and the vocals are clear and up front. Good engineering and production quality is hard to come by when we’re talking organic instrumentation in the DIY electronic era.
So I found this an absolute plus in an already positive musical experience. Of course when you look up the band’s track record and see where and who they have shared the stage with during their careers, much of what has been said above, should come as no surprise.
Having said that, the only real criticism I can make of “Close Enough To Fix” is that… it’s too damn short!