TV Colours – Purple Skies, Toxic River

2 out of 5

Label: Comedy Minus One

Produced by: Bobby Kill

Man, I really appreciate the passion and concept here, but it’s unfortunately just too monotonous. TV Colours is, essentially, one person – Bobby Kill, doing guitars, drum machine, keys, and production duty, singing emotive odes to lost youth and loves over a lo-fi rattle of noise and backed by multi-tracked gang vocals. In isolation, this stuff is pretty great: punky riffing and chanting and a wash of production hiss that makes the drum machine sound like an organic part of things (indeed, you can’t really tell the one track on which Franky Moron joins on live drums…); Kill’s got a passionate shout, and the lyrics, though often only a verse or two before repeating, are right down the line between confessional and poetic so that they’re nicely relatable. This general approach, though, is almost the same on every song, maybe just sped up or slowed down, and that same appealingly lo-fi nature of the recording makes the layering Kill is doing – the keys and guitars that could add nuance – all get lost and lump together. There are pieces of this to dig – such as the surreal, horror movie-esque instrumental interludes, and the more moody final track, Wastelands – but those pieces also suggest that there was a more effective way to vary things, and for the majority of the album, that’s not what we get: instead, it comes across as one riff, and a set vocal range, and a set drum rhythm, repeated ad nauseam.