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Colossal | Welcome The Problems (Asian Man)
No press release with this one, so please forgive any factual inaccuracies. (That said, track nine of ten here is entitled Careless Michael, so perhaps slip-ups are to be expected.) A glance at the band's website, www.colossalrock.com, reveals that they are, as I'd assumed from the music, from the Chicago area, Elgin to be exact. That they produce music with echoes of Joan Of Arc, 90 Day Men and, most notably, Braid may well be coincidental, but let's run with it anyway. If all three acts could be pulped, mashed, and then blended and reshaped into some sort of local-scene supergroup, chances are their output would sound akin to 'Welcome The Problems'.

Guitars chime crisply, without a trace of distortion, and any wayward moments in the melodies are presumably perfectly intentional. Once-conventional song structures are spliced and diced a la so many other notable post-rock-cum-post-punk outfits, but whilst familiarity does set in, boredom and frustration do not. Indeed, tracks like Work In Prague and The 1/5 Compromise are effortlessly elegant in their execution, however recycled the core ideas may be. Recommended within its genre.

Mike Diver
February-April 2005

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