At the suggestion of a friend, I took a few listens to a band I had not heard before, Pennsylvania’s Colony Collapse. Seemingly released in February 2016, What Weighs Us Down Keeps Us Grounded is an adventurous 5 song romp. Overall, this is going to be positive, but in usual Brandpa fashion, I’ve got to nitpick in the interest of honesty.
What do they sound like? Well that’s pretty complicated. I hear a pretty wide range of sounds that for the most part mesh pretty well. You know how A Day To Remember managed to mash pop punk and new age metalcore together seamlessly? And you know how Four Year Strong tried the same thing and failed miserably to make a cohesive song until their most recent album? This definitely falls closer on the scale to ADTR. August Burns Red started throwing random genre switches into songs because they realized they had written the same song for 3 records in a row. What Weighs Us Down Keeps Us Grounded is chaotic by design, and I would argue does so with a much greater purpose.
Top to bottom, here are the comparisons I drew, as they happened.
I’m hearing a more amped up type of Anberlin, perhaps teetering on They’re Only Chasing Safety Underoath. It’s a driving post hardcore sort of rock. The vocal comes in and I’m vexed, but not upset. It’s kind of radio rock tinged, but a lot more interesting. Akin to Cincinnati’s defunct Cinema Sleep, current Emarosa or XXI with more raucous pomp. Breakdowns sounding pretty modern metalcore, and then doubling down into deathcore territory. Here is where they start to lose me a little. Deathcore is not for me. I guess the candid “are we really going to ruin this song with a breakdown?” suggests a sense of humor that I should be more receptive to. Certain vocal passages give a very Emery feel. There is a youthful and adventurous energy that reminds me a great deal of Memphis May Fire’s Sleepwalking which is surprisingly a compliment. Hardcore beats followed directly by The Question era Emery. And we top this insane musical lasagna with a sprinkle of sweep picking.
Well I’m certainly intrigued. Having listened to the EP front to back about 6 times, I can say that I am hopeful for this band. They take chances, they pull off some very unlikely shifts, and there is not a lack of technical talent to be found. Every member is pulling their weight. Guitars are inviting. Drums aren’t playing the bare minumum like most. The vocal is accurately fitting in with several different genres, even within the same song. I hear a young band with a considerable amount of potential. If this sort of “strap in and hold on” songwriting becomes their signature and they tighten up some of the loose ends, they will become a force to be reckoned with. Let’s hope the general public’s disdain for anything that makes them think does not pressure CC to cave in and dumb things down.
At the present moment, this record is a year old and the band has a meager following on social media. They deserve quite a bit more. This is impressive as a first release. I look forward to see what comes next.
Check out the full EP here: