June 5, 2020 Covet – Technicolor (Album Review)
Post-Rock trio Covet are back with their second full-length, Technicolor, out on Friday, June 5, 2020 via Triple Crown Records.
Comprised of Yvette Young on guitar/vocals, David Adamiak on bass, and Forrest Rice on drums, the San Francisco outfit first made a name for themselves back in 2015 with their Current EP before the release of their 2018 full-length, Effloresce. Whereas its predecessor featured two guest appearances – namely Guitarist Mario Camarena and DJ San Holo – the ten fresh tracks of Technicolor expand sounds internally by adding vocals from Young on some tracks instead. The result is unnervingly brilliant, as her two vocal tracks are spaced amongst the heartfelt instrumental work Covet has become known for.
A bit more accessible than the band’s debut, Technicolor is still full of dizzying work worthy of some of the highest names in Rock. For example, “Predawn” captures a tense agony in the guise of rising, frantic guitar riffs. Then “Nero” is a track whose guitar meandering might nudge guitar legend Mark Knopfler into a few extra hours of practice each night. Covet released a corresponding video in late March, one which takes careful moments to showcase the technical prowess of each member. This while it also pits them against each other in a dystopian three-way video game battle within a junkyard.
Moving on, the quirky island theme of “Pirouette” servers as a brief respite between the halves of the album; bridging the waning moments of “Nero” and the roaming ramble of “Aries.” That in mind, the latter begins with a punchy staccato reminiscent of contemporary soundtrack Composer Theodore Shapiro, before moving into territory that begs comparison to At the Drive-in and its two subsequent children, The Mars Volta and Sparta.
At times, the vibrant work of each musician both stands out and stands aside on Technicolor. This is evident with the warm bass of Adamiak which provides both a singular focus and a connective glue, peppered and partnered by the Jazz rhythms and Rock-n-Roll feel of Rice’s drums. This leaves the guitar, and brief vocals, of Young to scour the heights of the universe for the most comforting, albeit gut-wrenching, tones available. This is true with her work on “Odessa” which is simultaneously minimalist and crushingly fatal. Then there are several tracks, “Predawn” in particular, which almost scream (pun intended) for a vocal track. However, the longing feeling is almost enjoyable.
Which leads us to “Farewell,” a song that furthers a titular concept with seamlessly flying ’80s Pop vibes over a reluctant finality of a high school graduation ceremony. It is during this closer that Young attempts to smooth her aggressively tinny guitar tone by adding soothing vocals, and the song eventually falls to pieces as the album plays out.
With Technicolor Covet have married the kinetic warmth of visual art with the aural beauty they have established since their start. Each song takes a brief concept and gives it both light and sound – from the beautiful “Good Morning” through the changes of “Nero,” “Pirouette,” and “Aries,” to the calm, successful breakup of “Farewell.” Technicolor is a brash, peppy jaunt that will keep you engaged, and that is why Cryptic Rock gives it 4 out of 5 stars.