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Record Reviews
Purple Skies, Toxic River

TV Colours
Purple Skies, Toxic River

15 Track, LP (2013, Dream Damage)
Related: TV Colours.


When Assassins 88 disbanded with nothing more than a status update in April last year, they became yet another Canberra band to have a brilliant yet short career. For a brief moment, it actually made me wish I lived in the nation’s capital so I could have seen their outrageous live show more often. After TV Colours’ debut album was constantly delayed, I was convinced that they too would enter an early retirement, leaving behind a legacy of just over five minutes.

But it is rather apt that this album was six years in the making; the exact time it takes a person to make it through high school. That period where plenty of naïve 12-year-olds are transformed into pessimistic young adults eager to escape the wasteland that surrounds them; the same place they were once proud to call their neighbourhood. This album explores the dichotomy of high school: enjoying the most carefree and fun-filled years of your life while simultaneously coping with a sense of oppression and social isolation.

The Kids Are All Grown Up by TV Colours

The album opens with two high-energy tracks that celebrate the reckless abandon of youth. “Let’s hit the fucking freeway!” Bobby Kill screams on ‘The Neighbourhood’, while ‘Lost Highway’ consists of anguished cries that are largely incoherent. This fervent desire to escape is contrasted with later tracks ‘The City’ and ‘Livin’ After Midnight’, which are both lonely soundscapes of passing conversations and checkout beeps, showing that the teenage dream is often at odds with the reality of shitty part-time jobs and underage drinking in parks.

Much of Kill’s lyrics are filled with standard teenage angst, like “I don’t wanna go to school!” on ‘Run With the Creeps’ and the repeated shouts of “I just don’t care anymore!” on ‘City Nights’. On paper it can come across like a mild temper tantrum from a bratty kid, but delivered with passion and intensity it illustrates the emotional volatility of adolescence.

TV Colours - Beverly by Dream Damage

The album perfectly matches the general outlook of the 2k13 youth by pining for past decades while simultaneously looking toward the promise of the future; anything that gives them an escape from the present. On ‘Beverly’, the nostalgic snippet of a changing cassette precedes airy synths that wouldn’t seem out of place in a science-fiction movie soundtrack.

Perhaps the greatest contradiction on display is that an album about the teenage years can exhibit such maturity. The product of six years’ hard work is an excellent debut album that’s far more than just a collection of songs; it is a self-assured record and one of the year’s best.



by Mitchell Judge

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Your Comments

ghoti-max  said about 1 year ago:

The album perfectly matches the general outlook of the 2k13 youth by pining for past decades while simultaneously looking toward the promise of the future; anything that gives them an escape from the present. On ‘Beverly’, the nostalgic snippet of a changing cassette precedes airy synths that wouldn’t seem out of place in a science-fiction movie soundtrack.

I like this about TV Colours, that they're all 20-somethings throwing back to synths and tapes, the home-video colours of the album cover, and all this bratty teenage lyric stuff you mentioned...been a while since they've been in school.

It's strange, I feel like people are too young to be nostalgic in their early-20s, but its seems like some kind of generational symptom where people are obsessed with reclaiming this era that's essentially imagined for them considering they weren't even alive then.

I blame the iPhone.

(Sick album)


Little Ted  said about 1 year ago:

Great work TVC I really love this album.


rawr  said about 1 year ago:

It's strange, I feel like people are too young to be nostalgic in their early-20s, but its seems
like some kind of generational symptom where people are obsessed with reclaiming this era
that's essentially imagined for them considering they weren't even alive then.

I don't think it's specific to this particular generation though. Just an aesthetic that's become interesting again...perhaps by its absence for a while. Cycle of fashions etc...there were plenty of bands in the 80s and 90s revisiting 60s and 70s shtick too, and 80s retro seems to have been a trend in some manner or another since the late 90s. I can't find where I read it, but a bunch of people argue that today we're still basically in the 90s/postmodern era.

Anyhow, It's kind of fun to create the atmosphere of a time that you only know through photos/articles/videos and also (sometimes) interesting to observe that (re-)interpretation.


ghoti-max  said about 1 year ago:

Anyhow, It's kind of fun to create the atmosphere of a time that you only know through photos/articles/videos and also (sometimes) interesting to observe that (re-)interpretation.

Yeah totally...I enjoy the shit out of it


rawr  said about 1 year ago:

same. very worthy of dropping a tenner.


rosevich  said about 1 year ago:

this friggin rules


goingblank  said about 11 months ago:

This Wizard Oz cover of Bad Dreams is unreal:

Bad Dreams


Mess+Noise  said about 11 months ago:

yeah, well done


CrazeAlibic  said about 11 months ago:

ghoti-max  said about 11 months ago:

keep returning to this...what a fuckin record!


Ghostface  said about 11 months ago:

Sydney show when?


ghoti-max  said about 11 months ago:

Sydney show when?

September 28


lessmore  said about 11 months ago:

can't believe this review doesn't mention lost highway. what a song.

the band's been killing the live shows lately.


chrowens  said about 11 months ago:

The album opens with two high-energy tracks that celebrate the reckless abandon of youth. “Let’s hit the fucking freeway!” Bobby Kill screams on ‘The Neighbourhood’, while ‘Lost Highway’ consists of anguished cries that are largely incoherent.


Ghostface  said about 11 months ago:

sheeeeeeit


lessmore  said about 11 months ago:

fair.


unvisible  said about 10 months ago:

I'm really digging the hell out of this record. It's great to hear a band doing their own thing but still making catchy-as-hell music. I just said ''hell'' twice.


timscottt  said about 10 months ago:

Melbourne - Saturday 14


anonymous  said about 10 months ago:

So i'm stuck with endlessly playing the bandcamp page waiting for my record to show up.


ASaltySalute  said about 10 months ago:

This album is unreal...will there be copies of the record available at the show on Saturday?


oort  said about 10 months ago:

yep cool record, first thing that comes to mind is that it sounds like a damaged Orange Organics


CrazeAlibic  said about 10 months ago:

the Melbourne Launch is tonight at the Gasometer


gabbo  said about 10 months ago:

will the footy be on in the front?


CrazeAlibic  said about 10 months ago:

who knows...if you ask them to put it on they will


timscottt  said about 10 months ago:

The footy will be on.
Playing times
9:00 - See Saw
9:45 - Deep Heat
10:30 - A Strange Day
11:30 - TV Colours


gabbo  said about 10 months ago:

This will be an excellent night.


gabbo  said about 10 months ago:

Excellent.

Carlton lost too.


astrousersasmind  said about 10 months ago:

loving this. sorry i missed them last night


NotMorrissey  said about 10 months ago:

Great, cool shit. Very Blade Runner soundtrack in the synthy bits. Awesome.


anonymous  said about 10 months ago:

Vinyl arrived today, looks like i've got backwards labels, side b first it is!


chrowens  said about 10 months ago:

carwashhair  said about 10 months ago:

Yep, great interview. The first thing I thought of when listening to this album was Zen Arcade - it's all there in the story, and the ridiculous ambition and over-reaching by a 'punk' band. It's a real testament to just fucking sticking at it.


NotMorrissey  said about 10 months ago:

Good show the other night, certainly got a lot of avid fans in Sydney.


NotMorrissey  said about 10 months ago:

Such a killer album, it's actually starting to have a meaningful place in my psyche. It's a more evocative album than I was expecting it to be.


andyr  said about 9 months ago:

love this album


definitely  said about 9 months ago:

Anyone know where I can buy this on vinyl locally (Brisbane) or mail order in Australia?



definitely  said about 9 months ago:

Cheers! ordered


goingblank  said about 9 months ago:

Repressed should probably pay me commission for this sale.


timscottt  said about 7 months ago:

Australia Day Weekend
Country
City. Sunday Jan 28 (Aust Day Eve) Boney. with Unity Floors (Syd), Chook Race, Beat Disease


MelonHCST  said about 7 months ago:

Sunday is the 26th and that's Australia Day. I'm confused.


anonymous  said about 7 months ago:

Assume its sat 25th castlemaine, sun 26th boney.

They were pretty rad again last night, even with the shit vice crowd.


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Tracklisting
  • 1.   The Neighbourhood
  • 2.   Lost Highway
  • 3.   The City
  • 4.   Run With The Creeps
  • 5.   The Kids Are All Grown Up
  • 6.   Beverly
  • 7.   Skyline Beach
  • 8.   City Nights
  • 9.   I Soon Found Out That My Lonely Life Wasn’t So Pretty
  • 10.   Livin’ After Midnight
  • 11.   Bad Dreams
  • 12.   The Lost Years
  • 13.   Dark Days Against The Fade
  • 14.   Losing Control
  • 15.   Wastelands
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