The Color Fred Fires on All Cylinders with First New Album in 15 Years - A Year and Change
4.7 out of 5 stars
The Color Fred is the musical project started and led by former Taking Back Sunday co-frontman, Fred Mascherino.
The band hasn’t released a new full-length album since its debut album in 2007. They did release an EP in 2009, but this is the first collection of new music since then.
Mascherino is joined in the band by Steve Angello (guitar, backing vocals), Monte Holt (drums), and Keith Gibbons (bass), and the quartet have put a lot of energy and passion into the new LP titled A Year and Change.
For fans of the Taking Back Sunday album Louder Now (which is an awesome album) will definitely find a few tracks on this album to fit that same style and scratch an old itch that Mascherino left behind when he departed from the band.
The 14-track album starts off, as it should, with an anthemic rock song titled “Don’t Give Up on Me.” The song goes through the similar patterns of high energy and sing along hooks that most fans of Mascherino will really love.
The next track titled “Never Wanted” starts out a bit slower, but it builds into a full-volume confessional that rocks hard, but still gives the intervals and bridges that show the depth of talent of the group instead of just banging out the same 3 chords for an entire song. The dueling vocals also add to a bit of nostalgia of how great bands in the Emo and Punk genre seemed to make great records with two or more great singers in a band back in the early 2000’s.
“Lost & Lonely” is the 3rd song on the album, and jumps right back in after a bit of an altered recording intro. This one (like most of the songs) has some pretty good lyrics that catch you in the chorus.
That’s a pretty hard pill to swallow after a relationship is over, because usually in a relationship, one person is much more committed than the other, and when it comes time for a split, the less committed make it seem so easy to walk away. Pretty spot on perspective.
Song four on the album (“Creatures”) is the most recent single, and it is probably the most single-ready of all the songs just because it is so well put together. This song is a great damn song that will have you rocking from start to finish, and it definitely makes me happy about the prospect of seeing it played live, because with the drum starts and stops, it is just an absolute banger.
“Right I Left” is the sixth song on the album, and is the first slower song on the album. It’s an acoustic song with a full band that is borderline Americana-rock or country in some parts. The chorus still maintains the Mascherino sound though. The style definitely makes sense because the song seems to be about Mascherino leaving his family in order to either work or for some relationship reason. A heartbreaking line, “I left my home and headed West. My son ran next to the car as it left. His legs they ran as fast as they could.” And Mascherino questions whether he was right to leave or not.
The next song on the album, “Attention,” is worth mentioning because it has one of the raddest guitar solos on the album, and it has a really cool breakdown section in the middle of the song that gets you pumped.
The song “Save Yourself” is probably the loudest and most overall rocking song on the album. It just kicks off like an explosion and doesn’t stop. It’s a tough one to say for sure, but it might be my favorite track on the album. Lots of great noise.
The song “How Long Should I Wait” has a great guitar part in it that I wasn’t expecting. It’s a bit 80’s rock sounding which this album borders in several songs, but this is probably the most sustained song that keeps in that vein.
The regular album ends with “Veronica Road” which is another song with some awesome drum parts, and it rocks pretty hard as well.
The last two tracks “Don’t Change” and “Future Past” are definitely fun tracks to mosh around your house to. The songs are also the only songs, as far as I can tell, that have a second vocalist (I assume it is guitarist Angello) in them with whole verses that Mascherino doesn’t sing.