The Color Forty Nine have arrived on the scene with a great collection of tracks that are weaved together, almost like one story because they’re so consistent with each running track. This is a San Diego group with something to say, as well as be musically appreciated. The EP is semi-autobiographical and centered much around stories surrounding both sides of the Tijuana border, and they feature the deep voice of Phil Beaumont, along with band members Matt Resovich, Jason Hooper and John Meeks. Beaumont himself is a director of a public elementary school and finds refuge in music.
This can be a great way to get more across to the students of Beaumont, but it doesn’t sound intended that way or anything, however it does follow a very story telling approach, so, that just helps fit with his background. “I Will” is the first track and it gets the entire disc up and running for some anticipated mood swings in the music and vocals. At first it comes off very subtle and mellow, but the overall mood gets more intense as it goes, and this one is about anonymity in a crowd. It deals with standing out and not being noticed at the same time. But it plays much deeper than that at the core of what it’s about.
“Fall Down With You” almost sounds like part two of the opening track, but it turns out although the ambience is the same, not all of these songs wind up as similar as they might sound, and that is because of the way the EP builds from one end to the other. The succession is properly rearranged to play out that way and it works wonders on what is otherwise, a one-dimensional sound if you don’t peel back it’s many wonderful layers to find the diversity in Beaumont’s voice. This is clearly proven even more by the next track, “Hours Made” with its slinky grooves and mesmerizing pace.
“No Guarantees” is also another track where the pace gets the best of things because you can follow it comprehensively as it gets things back to the main stripped back sound. It’s very blunt and to the point at the right time on the disc. This is one of my picks for a favorite track, perhaps a single suggestion to follow the lead off track is one way to put it. Either way this is easy to fall in love with, as most of these songs are. And it’s further complemented by the change in vocal tone on “Storyteller” with its slightly more melodic vocal approach, much akin to the aforementioned “Hours Made.” It’s another killer moment.
“Did You Think Of This All By Yourself” goes well with the previous track and the closer “Side Of The Road” stand up well on its own two feet as the finale and ultimately moving closer. And while the former is a cleverly worded title, it’s less complex than the title suggests, leaving the final statement to make its lasting impact on a song that’s hard to forget, rendering it a very memorable note to go out on. This is a remarkably good release by any standard.