Thursday, November 5, 2009

Overwhelming Colorfast - s/t (Relativity, 1992)

If you're a 135-pound tennis scrub and see an admired band's T-shirt sized in an XXXL cut, please consider purchasing said item as a cover-of-coolness tent for your future beer belly.

Not anticipating my weight gain cost me some killer tees from the likes of XTC (Drums & Wires priced at $2.98 in the clearance rack of a long-closed Oceanfront locale), New York Dolls (1st album pose for less than ten smackers at the fondly remembered The Music Man at Military Circle Mall), Ramones (Road To Ruin comical pic also found in TMM's bins) and the explosion in a paint factory that is the cover shot of Overwhelming Colorfast's debut. If the friendly and somewhat attractive miss still ran the heat-transfer machine at the kiosk inside Greenbrier Mall just steps away from the food court, I'd be fashioning OC on my chest and a C-f-A sandwich in my mouth. Instead, I'm left holding the CD insert against my bosom and dreaming of happier times. At least I can realize the Chick-fil-A cravings. Wait a second, it's the day believers sing some dude's praises -- good for monster truck shows, bad for chicken sandwich eaters and my beloved Baltimore Orioles. In order, S. Truett Cathy's favorite words of all-time: 1)never, 2)on, and 3)Sunday. Of course, Mr. Cathy could've gotten his most treasured Statler Brothers full-length screened onto his Hanes pullover and six nuggets shoved into his gizzard eight days a week, holy or otherwise. But the man is believed to be deceased. So, too, is the hope of finding a 3XL garment from a decent band ever again.

Clothing nightmares aside, 1992 was a hefty year for fans of the Mould-guitar sound. The master himself formed Sugar (an outfit one clever writer referred to as "Husker Two") and sweetened the buds of Du-heads with the pleasing tastes of Copper Blue. Flavored by raspberries and lemonzingers on the tart 'n' crunchy Smeared, Sloan offered a Canadian take. Overwhelming Colorfast, a NorCal quartet fronted by Bob Reed (guitars/vocals), contributed to the buzz amid descriptions of "sweet pop mixed with punky guitar roar" and "sings like Bob Mould in his Husker Du days" from favorable critics. Painting themselves into a corner shone brightly on lead track "It's Tomorrow." Originally released on a 45 from SFTRI the previous year, OC stroked the right brushes of a not-so-cheery disposition surrounded by familiar axe-clanging. Hey, why not stay bed-bound if you're only gonna fall down later in the day? Besides, the alarm clock that you forgot to turn off spins quite a tune. Should you decide to greet the sun with "Good morning!" and other pleasantries, be sure to pack some "Arrows." One aim between the orb's eyes will stab at the heart of deception, and the Beatlesque fade-out can renew your interest in the thing called life. Tipping the O's cap to the Fab Four, "She Said, She Said" is like hitting two grand slams in an inning. The vocalization and noisy guitar outro on the composition are Hu Du perfect. Like a skipper scratching his head from the dugout, you'll wonder why Mould/Hart/Norton didn't cut a version of their own. Butch Vig -- who produced the disc and added some percussion -- also leaves a couple footprints. "Fearless" is unafraid to pound like Bricks Are Heavy-era L7. In fact, the pacing is very reminiscent of the square chicks' "One More Thing." "Try" succeeds with the intensity of the better side-B cuts on Nirvana's Nevermind, a la "Territorial Pissings" and "Lounge Act." Mould was never shy about exhibiting his instrumental prowess (spin Sugar's "Clownmaster" for a prime example), and "Yap" is a burner in that tradition. Handclaps, car keys, scorched amps, kitchen sinks -- the whole bit. The last line in "Totally Gorgeous Foreign Chick" is, "Do you remember?" Translated into a Scandinavian language, the phrase reads, "Husker Du?"

Oh, my old Husker shirts were given to a smaller-sized friend in 1995. He has outgrown them as well. There's six cans of beer in his fridge. Want one?
-Gunther 8544

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