Life brings two kinds of pain: the kind that hurts and the kind that transforms.
THE COLOR MORALE stands with their fans. Hurting together. Healing together. Strengthening each other through the common bonds of brokenness, suffering and a hope for redemption. The group’s ever-building following stands with them, too: they made the Alternative Press cover stars’ third album #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and flood their social media channels with heartfelt messages of encouragement.
The Color Morale is conscious of the power of heavy riffs, big melodies and impassioned truths to relieve and communicate. The idea behind Hold On Pain Ends, is as refreshingly simple as the old adage, “If you’re going through Hell… Keep going.”
On their fourth album and first for Fearless Records, the Alternative Press cover stars and Breakthrough Band nominees explore new depths of power, emotion and feeling.
This generation is under assault. Broken homes, neglectful parents, dystopian urban landscapes, draconian education centers – it’s no wonder so many are in the throes of addiction, or succumbing to self-harm, or starving themselves, or inducing vomiting just to feel “good enough” or “good looking,” or in some cases, just to feel at all. But anguish doesn’t have to be permanent. That’s why the album is called Hold On Pain Ends.
Lead singer and cofounder Garret Rapp doesn’t mince words when talking about purpose. “If you’re in a band and your band gets big at all, you really can use that to do a lot of good. Bands come and go, so make the best of your time. When I’m at the show, my time should be spent out there on the ground, in the dirt, with everyone else there.”
It’s from that pressing of the flesh and conversation with the fans that Rapp and the rest of The Color Morale – guitarists Devin King and Aaron Saunders, bassist Mike Honsonand cofounder/drummer Steve Carey – drew inspiration for Hold On Pain Ends. Producer Mike Green (Paramore, Pierce The Veil, All Time Low) enabled the band to hone in on their most vibrant, focused and overwhelmingly powerful collection of songs.
The early rumble of We All Have Demons (2009) and My Devil in Your Eyes (2011) can still be heard, with plenty of slices of the creative bombast of the band’s breakthrough album, Know Hope (2013), throughout. Longtime The Color Morale true believers will be thrilled with Hold On Pain Ends. Fans of rabblerousing radio saboteurs Rise Against, post-hardcore artisans Glassjaw and post-punkers Face To Face should take heed, too.
Armed with the life experience and the talent to convey a realistic but ultimately positive message in a way that resonates with those under the thumb of life’s more awful alternatives to a healthy existence, The Color Morale confess their personal problems as a means of showing empathy with what their audience is going through.
“Prey for Me” sets the tone for The Color Morale’s fully realized musical identity. “Damnaged” offers an impassioned exploration of Rapp’s rocky childhood. “Outer Demons” has an old-school punk meets metalcore feel. “Suicide doesn’t end the pain, it passes it to the ones you loved and remains,” Rapp bellows in “Suicide;Stigma,” which offers some semblance of solutions. Dave Stephens from We Came As Romans guests. Speaking of guests, Craig Owens from Chiodos lends a hand on “Developing Negative,” which tackles another difficult subject from a very personal place. “I’ve struggled with addiction,” Rapp confesses. “Even my best friends don’t know about it.”
The Color Morale’s insistence on communication, participation and inspiration puts them in front of the pack, as the band crisscrosses the globe connecting with crowds while on tour with contemporaries like Of Mice & Men, We Came As Romans, Escape The Fate, August Burns Red and The Devil Wears Prada. Each performance is a chance to further erode the false divide between band and audience. The Color Morale breaks down that wall, brick by brick, with every performance and every fan interaction.
“At the end of the day, I just want to find the place where I can do the most good in my life,” Rapp concludes. “I think the place I’ll do the most good right now is helping kids deal with messed up their surroundings are and how hard life can be at times.”
Garret Rapp (Vocals)
Devin King (Guitar)
Aaron Saunders (Guitar)
Steve Carey (Drums)
Mike Honson (Bass)