Tonal mashup is the key to The Coltens’ sound. The band record songs that sound like the kind of triumphant crowd-pleasers that contain enough ambiguity and grit to keep things fresh and thrilling. The emotive and sweeping acoustic dominated single “Wana Fy”, is the perfect juxtaposition to the exemplary pounding, insistent and abrasive “Party Machine”, it’s a complex collection of beautiful rock contradictions. The Coltens are a 4 piece indie-rock band who are on the rise in the Manchester (UK) scene.
The Coltens first single, “Party Machine” impresses from the get-go. The lead singer’s distinctive vocals are assertive and powerful, and the manner in which he emotes his way through the chorus without ever seeming to really try makes the song an ear-banging delight. So too is the instrumental pleasure; it’s a brash, jangly and bombastic number that manages to find beauty and catharsis in the rise and fall of guitar fuzz and the thumping drums.
“Party Machine” represents the band in tremendously fine form. And when the fiery lead-guitar solo forces itself above the noise, things really heat up. It’s the defiant, resilient music of hope; raw, and powerful. But more than that, it’s the music of a band with purpose; with drive; and with a creative integrity. Filled with both tautly constructed melodic fills and wild guitar freak-outs, this track could rock a stadium or blow the roof off a club.
The Coltens are one of those bands that you never knew you needed or would appreciate until they are put there right in front of you to enjoy. After the intensely menacing interplay of the guitar and driving rhythm of “Party Machine”, the band completely switches the template on “Wana Fly”. Strummed Acoustic guitars and waves of undulating strings are underscored by a mid-tempo beat and a mellifluous vocal melody.
“Wana Fly” has a distinct Brit Alt-pop flavor to it, and wouldn’t sound out of place on mainstream radio. The Coltens crackle with the same usual vibrancy fans would have heard on the previous single, only this time they keep it, clean, understated and very melodic. Though catchy and all-embracing, “Wana Fly” is blissfully ignorant of current trends or label expectations, completely locked into the ‘90s indie rock sound the band is pushing forward.
Considering their overall sonic aesthetic, it seems likely that The Coltens’ music will achieve a certain sense of timelessness. Their guitar tones and vocal inflections are gripping, reaching the emotional resonance that we’ve seen from the genre’s music in the past. Both “Wana Fy” and “Party Machine” sit right at the band’s musical sweet spot: tight webs of guitar-driven punch, knotty at places and breezily dangling elsewhere.
The guitars are the vibrant, buoyant core of The Coltens. It is there that their music exists on a parallel between jangly, melodic-inflected jams and powerfully emotional, loud rock sounds. “Wana Fy” and “Party Machine” is where the band exhibits those two strengths and deliver a set of shining moments. All which leads The Coltens to their debut on BBC Radio with their third single “Grave Digger”.
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