Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hey You, Columba

It's been a few days since my last post, and I hope you guys have been checking out all the new people I've had up; they're all really incredible, and if you haven't heard them yet, you're definitely missing out. Anyway, I'm here today to let you guys know about a new band I just found, and I gotta say they're truly amazing.
Out of Glasgow, Scotland, U.K., Columba are an indie-rock four-piece that blend the blues guitar of Clapton and Beck with the indie, Brit-pop vocal melodies of Oasis and Blur. A truly unique melding of two completely different styles, yet one that works so well it makes me wonder why I haven't really heard it yet up until now. Composed of Jamie Davidson (lead vocals), John Carson (lead guitar and backing vocals), Scott Campbell (bass), and Tony Osborne (drums), Columba's melodies tie in with hypnotic rhythms to produce the Smashing Pumpkins in bed with Oasis and Cream.
It hasn't evaded my attention that I've been throwing out numerous, seemingly contradictory comparisons, but being as truthful as I can be, these guys just seem to have influences from bands across he board, and with the sound they produce, I wouldn't have it any other way.
The first song I listen to from Columba's demo EP is "Before the Time." Starting with a solid drum beat by Osborne, the song launches straight into a melodic trance as Carson soon blends bluesy chords and notes with Campbell's strong bass notes. One of the things I love in this song that I hope I hear on the other ones is Carson's blending of acoustic guitar with electric. With an almost ridiculous air, Carson's guitars meld brilliantly to make me think there are two guitarists, and then I hear Davidson's vocals, loud, clear, and brilliant. It's like hearing "Champagne Supernova" again, but with a harder, more blues-rock backbone. This is truly one of the best songs on the EP. Everything is right: Campbell's bass is tight and strong next to Osborne's rhythmic drums, Carson's guitar is loud and melodic, and Davidson's vocals just serenade you into a hypnotic trance of indie and pop. And just when I think the song's going to wind down to a soft end, Carson shoots it back full of life with a shining guitar riff that gives the song a perfect ending. One thing I can hear clearly on this song, these guys are tight and know how to play with each other, and it definitely comes through on their music.
Track two is "Hey You," a slower, more bluesy, almost country-esque song. But Davidson's vocals and the rhythm section of Campbell and Osborne make sure this is not a song that gets categorized with Rascal Flatts or The Avett Brothers. Carson's guitar once again just bleeds through the speakers surrounding me in melodic chords and sharp notes. These guys definitely picked the right guitarist for their band, and he's right on the money in this song. Meanwhile, Davidson's vocals are sultry and hypnotic, and just wash through my mind in a way that none really have since I first heard Oasis. Now although I'm not a huge Oasis fan, you gotta admit that their vocals are pretty good, so this isn't meant to be a dig at these guys for having a bit of an Oasis influence because they make it work for them. Then there's Osborne, who's drumming is minimalist it seems, but the song is only better for it, and Campbell, whose bass seems to whisper its notes, but that's what makes his technique great. The mark of a really great rhythm section is knowing how to carry the song and make your mark without overpowering the melody, and Columba's certainly achieved that here. This is definitely my pick for my favorite song on the EP. No contest.
The last song I listen to is "Right Here." As the last chords of "Hey You" trail out, "Right Here" starts with an interesting, almost weird acoustic chord set and electric riff from Carson. Then Davidson's vocals come in, and it's creepy almost how much they sound like Billy Corgan meets Liam Gallagher. Then as the acoustic guitar fades out, Campbell and Osborne appear in the background, giving the song a great rhythm section to fit nicely over Carson's blues guitar chords. Of the three songs I listen to, this one is definitely the most different of them, but Columba make it work for them, and I can't resist this one the same way I can't resist "Hey You" or "Before the Time."Like many of the songs that have drawn me to the groups I've reviewed, this is one that just pulls me in. It's so all-encompassing that you forget that anything else but the song exists. Certainly one of the must-hear, more interesting songs on Columba's EP.
With these three songs heading up their EP, Columba produce an album that's different and unique, and definitely worth listening to. If you like anything indie, acoustic, blues, or pop-rock, then these guys are your assignment for the next few days. You won't be sorry. I'm sure as hell not.

Sounds Like: Oasis, Smashing Pumpkins, Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, Blur

Key Tracks from Columba EP: "Before the Time," "Hey You," "Right Here"

Check out Columba more at:

1 comment:

  1. cheers for the review, if you want a copy of the songs send me your address and i will send you a copy free of charge


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