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The History of Colour TV

Emerald Cures Chic Ills

(Saint Marie; US: 29 Jan 2013; UK: 29 Jan 2013)

Berlin’s the History of Colour TV sounds more like you’re living inside the white static that happens when that TV fails. These are unabashedly dramatic, sweeping rock songs, full of swelling, squalling keyboards and crunching guitars. The vocals are hissy and distant, buried in all these sonic textures. It can be an effective mix. The huge “Mend” stretches to nearly eight minutes, swaying between tense noise and negative space effortlessly. Elsewhere, we get a surprising tunefulness under all this grind on “Suddenlines” or the buzzing energy of “Let’s Get Sick”. Emerald Cures Chic Ills is a well-built sound, but the trouble here is that it’s not necessarily a new one, or even one that gives us a unique picture of the History of Colour TV. This is a set of big, industrial, shoegaze tunes that fall in line with My Bloody Valentine and all the others that followed. It’s a convincing sound because it’s already been sold to us, and though there are some bracing moments here, they’re bracing in a way we’re familiar with. There’s potential here, but the History of Colour TV needs to forget about collecting the past and forge their own musical future.


Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.

The History of Colour TV - "Suddenlines"
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