Colorstore - Bonefish: The Legend of Mahogany Cass
Record Label: None
Release Date: March 31, 2008
Phoenix, Arizona’s Colorstore seem to be doing everything right. Bonefish: The Legend of Mahogany Cass features quirky songwriting, eclectic instrumentation, and snappy song lyrics. It’s essentially everything one could want and expect from an indie release, yet somehow this effort falls short, leaving much to be desired. Perhaps the attention to melody was lost somewhere around the addition of ukulele and horns, or maybe Colorstore found themselves a little too ambitious on their sophomore release. Hey, there’s a reason Panic at the Disco’s first attempt was scrapped, right?
There are certainly redeeming moments on Bonefish: The Legend of Mahogany Cass that can be found on the opening track “Moosh” when singer Mark Erickson sings, “I’m in love with everything, everyone.” Arpeggiated keyboards swirl around his words, making it a refreshing beginning to the record. Simplicity is often said to be the sign of perfection, and it seems that Colorstore could take note of this phrase. The entirely cluttered “Death of Mr. Cass” is a cacophony of percussion and misplaced samples, most likely relating to the focus of the album, the character of Mahogany Cass. For an album title that suggests such a firm concept, the story is somewhat hard to decipher. “My Name is B” is a welcome treat to the ears after previous uninspiring moments. A skittish drum beat and surprisingly funky bass riff lead the band through some of their most memorable melodies of the record.
Following “My Name is B” is the aptly named “Mr. Julio Mena is a Menace,” with its impressive brass execution and Latin flair. Think Bright Eyes’ “Make War” if Conor Oberst made music you could dance to and you’ll get the idea. Instruments are shelved for the first half of “Milk,” leaving beat boxing and lush harmonies to accompany Erickson. It is less a successful use of voice than another ploy to throw the listener off and prove the band's atypical style.
Colorstore’s sophomore release Bonefish: The Legend of Mahogany Cass has moments that made me say to myself, “huh,” as on the barely enunciated “Supper at the Cass Residence,” and moments when I even started to bob my head to the beat. This album may leave Colorstore’s audience split down the middle between love and hate, but at the least it will provide a provocative listen.