Coloured Animal may be new on the Vancouver scene, but their self-titled debut displays the skill and confidence of a much more experienced band. The five members have managed to condense a deep and diverse set of influences and personal history into 46 minutes of high quality music. In a genre currently dominated by a few very popular (and frequently criticized) bands, Coloured Animal is the underdog, daring to make hard/alternative rock cool again.

Coloured Animal CD

Expect metal-like intensity and tight riffing in the explosive “S.L.P.F.” as well as the thundering album opener “604”, an anti-tribute that explores the dark side of their beautiful home city. Prog and art rock flavours abound in “Believe” and “Inoculation”, the latter being a caustic critique of the treatment of drug addicts in Canada’s most destitute neighbourhood. A more basic, roots-y approach can be heard in “The Prestige”, the mournful ballad “Lost and Found”, and the upbeat roller coaster “Reason”. The band truly comes into their own on the heavy groove of “Protest the Sky”, the ebb and flow of “Under the Blue”, and the energetic Latin-inspired “Los Cabrones”. This exceptional debut seamlessly blends the heavy riffing and scorching guitar leads of radio-friendly hard rock with the experimentation and raw emotion of 90’s alternative. Lead singer Kevin Gregoire’s clever lyrics and expressive delivery are the icing on the cake, making Coloured Animal’s debut album truly memorable.

Recorded at Vancouver’s legendary Factory Studios, the Coloured Animal debut is a great start for a promising new band, and a worthy choice for anyone who just wishes hard rock were a bit more … colourful.