Another unusual act comes out of the unsettling plains of Oklahoma in Colourmusic, on their debut, f, monday, orange, february, venus, lunatic, 1 or 13. Already known for giving birth to such strange and remarkable bands as The Flaming Lips (QRO live review) and Evangelicals (QRO spotlight on), the wilds of central Oklahoma now bring forth Stillwater’s Colourmusic. Yet while their stage show lends itself more to Wayne Coyne & co., on f, monday, orange, february, venus, lunatic, 1 or 13, the band primarily draws from the sweeter sounds of strange sixties.
f, monday starts swingin’ with “Motherfather”, whose bright alt-folk does tend a little twee. Much of the record plays that way: a little wacky, but mostly sunny neo-Beatles, such as with the strange-smile “The Gospel Song”, marching anthem of love “Spring Song”, and the almost over-cute, almost ironic about it, “Wintersong”. Colourmusic does take that style out for of a bit of a drive on a few tracks: “Someday Speaks Loudly” is slightly ominous in its fuzz, while finisher “Moolah” somehow does the same thing as all the rest, only better.
However, f, monday is really at its most remarkable when the band tries really different things. Strongest of these is the record’s second track, “Put In a Little Gas”. Kind of a dirty-blues group-press, this fun grind into rock also has high elements parachuted in for contrast. Middle number “Yes!” is reminiscent of that, and leads into the a little bit funky, a little bit fresh, and more than a little bit good, “Rock and Roll Polar Bear”. “You Can Call Me By My Name” then speeds south of the border with its catch, but unfortunately “Fall Song”, the one real swing & miss on f, monday, is an uninteresting high choral anthem.
Colourmusic are best known for their origins, being inspired by Isaac Newton’s theory of color and sound (their first two EP’s were Red and Yellow), plus performances where they dress as themes or even fake events (like weddings or high school graduations). Yet, on f, monday, orange, february, venus, lunatic, 1 or 13, they seem to draw more from the sunny neo-sixties (reminiscent of fellow almost-math-rockers, Apples in Stereo – QRO album review – or fellow Okies, Locust Avenue – QRO album review). If anything, Colourmusic should have perhaps gone stranger, but as it is, they still shine.