Colour Kane: Mild To Wild
Fade The World

Colour Kane clearly isn't concerned about inviting comparisons to Cocteau Twins. Not only did the Belgium-based band's 2007 Hidden Shoal outing A Taste Of include a lustrous collaboration with one-time Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie (on “Seaside Dream”), its latest effort, Mild To Wild, opens with a song that not only features crystalline guitar playing straight out of the Guthrie handbook but also includes angelic vocalizing that can't help but revive fond memories of Elizabeth Fraser's singing (“Wasteland Tale”). Not that there's anything terribly objectionable about that, as one could argue that singer Marjan Snykers and sonic alchemist Joeri Gydé are filling a void sadly left by The Cocteau Twins' departure from the scene. And though Colour Kane might not get the highest of marks for originality, there's also no denying that the group's dreampop is engaging in its own right. Its guitars, vocals, electronics, and programmed beats meld into a gauzy, multi-layered blend that shoegaze aficiandos should have no trouble warming up to.

One thing that does surprise a bit is how mellow in tone Mild To Wild is compared to the oft-blazing shoegaze norm—not that that makes songs like “Others” and “That Train of Keepsake and Glory” any less appealing. A song such as “Papillon,” on the other hand, straddles both approaches in alternating verses so laid-back they verge on sultry and choruses that chime and shimmer as radiantly as anything in the Lush or Ulrich Schnauss catalogues. Apparently the new album—a concise nine-song set that checks in at thirty-three minutes— takes as its guiding theme lucid dreaming, and it's certainly not hard to draw a parallel between the group's sweetly soaring music and the hypnotic state midway betwixt sleeping and waking that characterizes that particular condition.

August 2011