EP Review – Scenes From An Imaginary Scene by Coloring Outside (2022) (Self released)

ColoringOutside

Arty sorts are clever. The come up with ‘clever stuff’. Clever arty stuff, that us mere mortals could never really begin to even start to think about, let alone implement.
Coloring Outside, is one such project. With the faux back story of the recently discover demo tapes of a French (Saint Pierre and Miquelon to be exact…how is that for detail?) act consisting of Johnni “JJ” DesRogiers and bassist Mikie, who parted far too soon, in squabbling ignomy, this collaboration between Halifax (Nova Scotia) based, Charles Austin (Aqua Alta) and Josh Salter (Nap Eyes), goes to great fun lengths, just to release mid 80s sounding guitar-pop.
All hail the effort though. For, fun or not, this is one of the EP’s of 2022 so far and literally nails the era. Essentially, in an release that is a tribute to the best of the mid 80s quirk-pop vibe, Scenes From An Imaginary Scene, commences with the double salvo of Sitting in the Cemetery and Winner’s Circle, that claims the musical hinterland between the subtle post punk of The The, the dulcet jangle-pop / Paisley Underground of the Rain Parade and the quirks of Kitchens of Distinction.
The closing two tracks, Local Heroes and Bye Bye Frontiera, visit the darker, more rock edged sound of the era’s quirk-pop. Here the incessant drive and grumbling melodic guitar riffs, hint at The Softies in their occasional moments of tranquility and XTC should they have garnered a rock attitude.
Sandwiched between these two glorious bookends is Top of the World, which takes it’s place as both the outlier of the release and the standout. All Hammond organ meets Gene Clark vocals, this could be any number of the best Brit invasion, 60s pop acts.
I am not sure if this is going to be a project that will be worked on long term by this duo…we can but hope though !

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