Unfortunately, The Lonely Colour Green sounds too much like what it is: a relatively inexperienced rock band from Nelspruit's first rushed attempt at an album.
It's straight-down-the-line mellow rock from beginning to end. Sure, there are slight influences of grunge, but only in an extremely safe, accessible sort of way. It's like Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder doing toned-down cover versions of the Counting Crows for a corporate audience. Rest assured: there's nothing here that will wake the neighbours.
Not that there's anything wrong with mellow rock, per se. The big problem is that there's nothing here that hasn't been done before, many times, by more experienced musicians. It may be pleasant enough to listen to, if AOR (adult oriented rock) is your thing, but it's derisive and cliched. There's even a lyric about "African skies" ("Rusty Hinges"). Not even Paul Simon could get away with that kind of nauseatingly sentimental clunker.
Underneath all the obvious flaws of their first attempt, 10c Short show some real promise. But musically, they need to take a few chances and distance themselves from their influences, if they want to achieve anything with their talents. It's not saying much, but they're already streets ahead of previous winners, the naffer-than-Heinz Swallow 15.
Let's hope the Emerging Sounds competition produces something unique this year, rather than another formula for selling CDs. The last thing the South African music industry needs right now is another Battle of the Blands. Or worse yet, another Idols.
- Chris McEvoy
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