Album Review – Syndrome / Colourful Cows EP (2013)

An interesting and totally experimental alternative outside the world of Heavy Metal.

Rating5

Colourful CowsWhenever you want to have a “break” from all the intensity of Heavy Metal (if that’s humanly possible), an interesting alternative is the EP Colourful Cows, launched in 2013 by Israeli/English Electro-Rock Alternative band Syndrome. Formed in 2010 and based in Israel and London, UK, this independent band adds a lot of different elements and experimental techniques to their regular instruments, generating a unique sonority that will certainly please fans of alternative music.

According to the band, the EP tells the first part of a story about the “Colourful Cows”, a metaphor to our life and society, and their music is totally designed based on virtual and real instruments mixed together, live sampling, programmed synthesizing and new live performance methods. All this “technical” explanation might not make a lot of sense for anyone who’s not connected to this world of electronic/experimental music. However, after listening to the entire EP, you’ll be able to better understand their proposal.

The first track of the EP, Exhibition Trial, works as a welcome card to what the band can offer us: it’s a very experimental song, with heavy keyboards and some moments that make me feel I’m inside a “psycho circus”. It’s a good start that will make you want to listen more of Syndrome’s music. The following song, Change, is a song full of special electronic effects and samples that also has an interesting intro with a female voice saying we have to shoot “them” in the head in order to kill them. Are they referring to zombies, or maybe to real living human beings as per the original idea of the album? Even being a huge fan of zombies, I choose the second option without a shadow of a doubt.

SyndromeThen come Open The Gate, a ballad with several elements that remind me of what artists like David Bowie usually present in their compositions, and L.Q.C, a more Rock N’ Roll and by far the heaviest song in Colourful Cows, which nice solos mixed with strong synths and drumming made it my favorite of all.

Colourful Cows has three more tracks that are completely different from one another: Exhibition Trial II is an instrumental ballad based on a calm and smooth piano; Get My Words is another crazy music voyage, full of synths and with a curious synthesized guitar solo; and the outro Colourful Cows is totally experimental and as odd as it can be.

The music in Colourful Cows is so “weird” that I didn’t know where to add this review, if in the 2013 New Releases or in the 2014 New Releases. Well, guess what? Neither category was selected, first because the EP was released back in August 2013 (a long, long time ago), and second because it’s not Heavy Metal at all, so it couldn’t be added to any of those categories anyway. That’s why it ended up here in the middle of the Other Reviews, which might sound weird, but remember that’s what Syndrome are and enjoy doing after all.

Last but not least, if you’re a musician interested in knowing more about how Syndrome creates their music, go to their technical webpage called Insight, which displays video clips demonstrating their technology and methods.

Best moments of the album: Exhibition Trial, Change and L.Q.C.

Worst moments of the album: Open the Gate.

Released in 2013 Independent

Track listing
1. Exhibition Trial 3:29
2. Change 3:09
3. Open The Gate 3:12
4. L.Q.C 4:18
5. Exhibition Trial II 3:00
6. Get My Words 3:59
7. Colourful Cows 1:23

Band members
Eric Shlomi – vocals
Amo – guitar & synth
Kiki Kalifa – guitar
Shaltiel Elul – synth & conductor
Gil Zissu – bass guitar
Dima Shchukin – soundman

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