Colour Me Wednesday - I Thought It Was Morning | Album Review | By Volume

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Colour Me Wednesday

I Thought It Was Morning

A wonderfully simple, totally pissed-off manifesto on barely being an adult.

Comments (2)
Author: on August 13, 2013
Discount Horse
September 2nd, 2013

I Thought It Was Morning does what it will. It will make you want to dance, a little, thanks to its jumpy tempo and chugged-chord enthusiasm, and maybe it’ll make you want to find someone to dance with. It will make you feel mad, righteously, pissed off at a system that marginalises those you love (uh, “Purge Your Inner Tory”? Please do). It will also make you feel a little sad. Remember, if and when that happens, that it’s okay; Colour Me Wednesday suggest this particular feeling is just for you, even if the world’s a mess for everyone. They begin their DIY debut with “Shut”, a song about feeling empathy for just about anyone you can, but also feeling an emptiness inside when your best efforts go in for nothing. The first lines of the record are fitting, because they’re about where trying to make a better tomorrow for everyone leaves you: sick from the world, lying in your bed with the curtains drawn. “It’s like I failed my teens, now I’m failing my twenties”, lead-singer Jennifer opens. The reason: “Every piece of news is worse than the last”. Colour Me Wednesday know how to capture the mood of every kid-gone-adult stuck in their own head and conscious of the world outside it. They know both come together.

“Shut” has the kind of indignation you will feel all the way through I Thought It Was Morning. Call it regret, call it shame. It’s that feeling that slithers over you when you can think of a hundred different things you should have done in one shitty, defeating situation. Fittingly, the song is exhilarating, a simple chord progression working against thrashing drumming as if to set up the realisation that speaking out is good, and the louder the better: “I don’t know why I keep my mouth shut most of the time when I burn on the inside”. Colour Me Wednesday’s songs are going to continue down this line of interrogation, their motives backed by songs that bring them about.  “Bitter Boys” laughs at dudes with egos in a way that deflates them, using a silly, upbeat song with choruses that halt and burst with the sting; “I kind of liked you” lingers before the kicker: “until you said that”.  The atmosphere of “Lost On The High Street” is just as good in an entirely different way. It’s a self-describing song about there not being a safe place in the world, as ominously compressed as the microcosm its lyrics describe, only free from its verses of palm-muted guitar in its desperate, escapist choruses. “Looked down on by the signs, plastic and glass don’t break their stare / no matter how you try” is one of the darkest descriptions on the record, and I Thought It Was Morning doesn’t shy away from it. It doesn’t dichotomize it or switch the scene: it looks it in the eye.

I Thought It Was Morning is everything a good punk record (read those words with scare quotes, if you need to) can be: accessible, disarming and worthy of a tonne of replay, up until you know the best songs in your heart. It’s a goldmine for hooks, even though it barely deviates from its musical conventions – a little bit chilled on the indie spectrum, a little bit ska when it wants to be – but most impressively, it’s made by a band so confident in what’s personal and what’s politics that you barely notice the switch up. Colour Me Wednesday have made an album that speaks to specific personal experiences, and they’re able to relate them as if they were just part and the parcel of growing up, but they can just as well be vehement, sending away the idiots they once trusted. “Bitter Boys” and “You’re Not My No. 1 Bastard” call out standard misogynistic bullshit, and then there’s the reproaching – and fucking graphic –“Purge Your Inner Tory”, which enough to prove this album has enemies. In my head these songs unite to form a trilogy, and they all have the same main character.

In their press release, Colour Me Wednesday reference the unimpeachable Ted Leo & The Pharmacists as one of many influences, and spiritually, I Thought It Was Morning is right there with him. Leo is a master of the delightfully exhausted; it’s thrilling musically, but lyrically it’s overtired, and in that sense, Heart Of Oak is imprinted onto this album. In the same way Leo pulls a wry smile on many of his songs (“I’m a Ghost”, with his high-pitched cooing of a lyric as through with it as “I’m a ghost, and I wanted you to know / that it’s taking all my time”), Colour Me Wednesday are full of bright mini-anthems about wanting to just give up, but not being able to look away. “Carefree” is a jangly punk song tinged with a reggae tempo and swirling keyboard flourishes in its chorus – in other words, it’s light, it’s fun, it jams – but its lyrics are stressed out at something a million times huger than a nimble pop song. It tells a joke about its own major-key existence, Jennifer singing “Used to be I could live carefree, and now that’s all stopped / things are looking off these days” like she can’t change anything in a three minute hang-out song, and going on to lament the things she can’t contain within it: “everything is lost in hierarchy”.

“Carefree” is one of the most reassuring songs I’ve heard this year, coming on an album that’s already somewhere on the genre-scale between protest song and warm blanket. Like label-mates ONSIND, purveyors of a gentle and generous political manifesto, Colour Me Wednesday know who have the power – “they’ve already won all the money and the bombs” – but also know that being ignored is made worse by refusing to talk about it. A great pop-punk album is good for forty-odd minutes of uprising and a very important show, and Colour Me Wednesday’s uniting missive is distilled on “Carefree”: “what can one person do? / fight their own little corner until one day we all see some truth / before we become jaded”. It’s a simple approach that leads I Thought It Was Morning on its mission to capture the frequently introspective, wannabe empathetic mind of a kid turning twenty. That’s something to admire, and something that might come to you when you can’t face the world you’ve woken up to.

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  • colourmesam

    I really enjoyed the review Robin but the actual lyric to the bit you quoted from lost on the high st is “plastic and glass don’t break their stare”

  • Robin Smith

    thanks for letting me know. sorry about it!! :)


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