COLISEUM: Sister Faith: CD/LP

Jul 24, 2013

Do you ever wish Jawbox would reform? What if they replaced J. Robbins with the singer from Torche or Baroness? And what if they turned the guitars up, gave them some oomph and listened to Motörhead before recording an album? (What if I stopped asking “what if” questions and got on to the rest of the review?) It may be hard to believe, but that’s what Coliseum’s latest album, Sister Faith, sounds like. The Louisville three-piece has been around for approximately ten years, which is crazy because it seems like just yesterday Ryan Patterson, the singer and guitarist, was in The National Acrobat and Black Cross. And yet here they are, with a great thirteen-track rock record with a gritty feel and great production (thanks to the front man of the aforementioned Jawbox, J. Robbins). Some of the songs brim with fierceness, while others seem more laidback. They’re catchy in as much as that is possible with post-punk music, but I certainly found myself singing along after a while and having bits of lyrics running through my head throughout the day. But in the end, it really is amazing how much this reminds me of Jawbox. Listen to “Used Blood” and tell me the opening guitar riff, throbbing bass, and drums are something J. Robbins and company wouldn’t have come up with. It goes from that right into “Late Night Trains,” whose guitar opening sounds like another J. Robbins piece. Listen—there’s a fine line in the music world between being influenced by and copying another band. I don’t know what it is but I know the difference. In this case, Patterson’s vocals and lyrical content (approaching religion in a direct sense) are different enough to not be subject to cries of poser. Instead, the band has found a great flag to wave and a conglomeration of enough sounds to be impressive and not ridiculous.

 –kurt (Temporary Residence)