A Little Edge
Kentucky-based hardcore punk band Coliseum have spent the last 12 years releasing some of the most interesting and creative music in punk, with each album unfolding a new element of their sound. Their newest release, Anxiety’s Kiss, is no exception. Bringing in the poppier elements that listeners heard in their last release, 2013’s Sister Faith, while still sticking to their hard rock roots, this record has something for anyone who likes a little edge in their music. In fact, this album seems to be a bit of a return to their more hardcore sound, especially vocally, which will definitely be a treat for longtime fans.
The album’s upbeat feel is apparent immediately with the opening track “We Are the Water,” which will have your head bopping along in no time, ready for the rest of the record. Songs like “Drums & Amplifiers” feel like a callback to songs heard on albums like the Goddammage EP, with the chorus sounding reminiscent of tracks like “Year of the Pig.”
The driving bass line in “Dark Light of Seduction” makes it one of the highlights of the record, showing just how groovy punk can get while still being combined with dark, moody vocals and guitar. And speaking of dark and moody, “Driver at Dark,” the strongest song on the record, is also the biggest diversion from the rest of the album. Sounding like it was ripped right from a Swans record without sounding like a rip off, it would have made a perfect end to the album. Anxiety’s Kiss’ actual final track, “Escape Your Skull,” is a perfectly good ending but feels a little out of place after the grimness of “Driver.”
Anxiety’s Kiss is exactly the record that should be expected from a band like Coliseum at the age they are at. It is more mature sounding than their earlier releases, but they are still clearly the same energetic and innovative band they were when they first came out. One can only imagine where they’ll go for their next release, but we’d better all be paying attention.