With musing, sing-along pop that veers into sulky, metal-laced licks, The Color Guard captures all that's perversely and crankily wonderful about any minutely examined life: deep introspection, irrational adulation, and unapologetic philosophizing. The Color Guard's self-titled debut EP--released on the Brooklyn band's own label Suziblade Music--opens with their classic anthem 'Not My Valentine,' then softens to try and awaken a friend near death with '(you make life) Divine.' Chords explode into space with 'O-Ring Task Force,' an eerie lullaby based on the crash of the space shuttle Challenger; then land in the relief of a sincere love song, 'Heartwarmer.' The girls send us off with a pow (and a wink) in 'Draw Me Like Her,' a tribute to the cartoon heroine Daria. Geek-girl-gone-glam singer Lalena sets a whimsically sophisticated tone for the band's performances at New York City venues like Luna Lounge, Meow Mix, Galapagos-Williamsburg, Acme Underground, and Kitsch Inn. The Color Guard have been known not only for ambitious, complex harmonizing, but for raffling off whole hams and eligible bachelors, and even holding a bake sale complete with Rice Krispie squares at their shows. With the deceptively basic ingredients of drums, bass, guitar, and vocals, The Color Guard drags four distinct musical personalities thrashing and kicking into a set of throaty, unpredictable songs that nudge life's ugliest moments into vibrating harmonies. Lalena, who sings and plays guitar, hails from Houston; she left her art-punk band Catbox there to go to art school in New York, where she co-founded The Hissyfits. Native New Yorker Chris, whose usually reserved nature takes a U-turn when she sits behind the drum kit, last rocked the land as a guitarist of Kittywinder. Jeanne, who maintains that nonsense is necessary in the midst of her most baroque bass melodies, hails from Ann Arbor. And Guitarist Valerie brings a wistful and sensual flair from New Orleans, where she riffed with punk three-piece AGB. Together, the members of The Color Guard wave a flag that stands for depth, beauty, and strength--reacting against a regime of superficial heartthrobs and pretentious cock-rock--all the while insisting on a good time.
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