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Review: Colibrium – ‘In Balance’ Reviewer: Craig Grant.


Review: Colibrium – ‘In Balance’

Reviewer: Craig Grant.

This review is an opportunity to make things right. This album was released about 12 months ago, so this review isn’t about flogging a new release or meeting a PR’s request. It is about bringing to your attention that there is a monster album call In Balance by Adelaide band Colibrium that needs you to have a listen.

I came across these guys in support of Twelve Foot Ninja. I had no idea who they were but always watch the supports, sometimes from the comfort of the bar, but always watch a set – unless of course you are Tank and supporting Motorhead then that’s the event that broke the rule, just the once. If you need info at a gig then just go see the security guy that’s there every night watching band upon band. ‘That’s Colibrium’, he tells me, ‘great band, just don’t get enough support slots’. So it’s back to the stage for a set replete with great songs that a quick Internet search tells me comes from their only album.

The album In Balance is eight tracks in total and, as a debut, it is as ambitious as it is confident. This is stadium rock for a debut release and it’s not just the mix, and there is no hint of arrogance, it’s the fact that the songs carry to that breadth. These are huge tracks. I have spoken to bands that are constantly on the road and ask then around the fifth album where they find the time to learn new playing techniques. Without fail they say that it just happened and that they have never thought about it. They just woke up as very capable musicians. So here we have a debut release and it sounds like these guys are a fifth album band with a multitude of tours under their belt.

I’m going to choose three songs from this album but I want you to go listen to these and the rest, whether it is by buying the CD or by dipping the digital needle into Spotify with the cool kids. So track one is Alien and if ever there was a track that you could cut and paste straight onto radio, even the mind numbing dross of commercial radio, then this is a track for every taste. Great opening and a huge sound that is bigger than a debut release but announces this band as the real deal. It is a massive sound as the first track on the first album. It’s stupidly good. I played this album a few times between gigs and the person I was with assumed that this was a seasoned band that they had missed. Cannot fault this; even the insanely catchy chorus that burrows into your ears and refuses to leave.

Locked and Loaded is a three minute pounder that starts with a simple riff and a drum beat that seems to work against the vocal but it all comes together in a monstrous gang-vocal, before diving into that riff again. So simple, but again this is a huge sound and the mix is just perfect. No matter which medium or media I listen to this on, there is no compromise in quality. We hit the handbrake and have a little sensitive moment in the middle before the drums take us to a break before the gang vocals come back and carry us to the outro. This is too good for the commercial radio dross and it’s also better than a lot of bands that I’m asked to cover as ‘successful’ artists.

Ok, this is your last track in the review. We’ve gone track one, track two and guess what, track three is an absolute ball-tearer of a song. Underdog is an awesome track. Again, its confident and its stadium rock. The sound is thick and the production is stellar. There is also a solo about two and a half minutes in that many a guitarist would give their right nut for. How many albums have this band done? WOW! Having seen this live, I can tell you that there is no studio jigger-pokery going on here, this is the real deal. It’s also not a song to justify a solo, it’s a solo that lifts the song to the next notch.

There isn’t a dull track on this release which is straight melodic rock, that will probably be called alternative or progressive because it is brim full of ideas.

How many albums have we bought on the advice of friends, or based on hype, just to find it’s a one listen and it goes on the shelf? But we simply join the pack in buying the album, keeping it to ourselves that it’s not really that good. Well, be a winner and be a pack leader. Have a listen to this. Get yourself onto bandcamp or iTunes / Spotify and have a listen. No way you will be disappointed.