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The Color Red are trying to accomplish what few bands do these days, melding aggression with a solid sense of songwriting. Produced by Johnny K, who was also the man behind Disturbed’s solid debut and Machinehead’s Supercharger, Clear is not groundbreaking but neither is it mundane. The song-first approach is evident throughout although there are a few flashes of well-placed “riffiness” in some of the heavier songs like Sore Throat.
Their self-proclaimed influence by Quicksand shows itself on a couple tunes like Cleansing and Your New Self. The biggest problem with this album is that after a strong start it fades into a collection of medium tempo sleepers. A wider diversity of material or even a different track listing would have made improved it significantly. Even given their penchant for songwriting, you have to stick with your strengths, and from the brief evidence available, strong guitar work is one of them. One or two more heavy tracks would have put this album on the regular rotation for me.
John Rovnan is a staff writer. Contact him at email@example.com.