Exposé Online banner

Box of Crayons — Colorblind Chameleon
(WMMS 73, 1997, CD)

by Steve Robey, Published 1999-01-01

Colorblind Chameleon Cover artThis one took me several listens before I could even begin to pin it down enough to write a review. Covering a wide spectrum of art rock, Box of Crayons are certainly interesting. Their starting point is usually the acoustic guitar, laying down friendly, tuneful songs with nice lead vocals that are kind of a cross between Brett Kull and Peter Hammill. Quite often, however, the mix includes such colorful instrumentation as clarinets, vibes, trumpet, keyboards, samples, and so on, somehow making each song sound different from the last. My favorite was the spoken word piece "Ashes, Ashes," which pits a real neat recitation over some cool vibraphone backing. A sample from the lyric: "...holidays past when Irving Berlin songs came true and father looked a little bit older and grayer than everyone remembered..." - that's pretty evocative. Then, the next song goes into a Camel-like instrumental (circa Stationary Traveler), and the song after that reminds me of IQ. "Busy Signals" predictably uses telephone sound effects, but they are disturbingly effective in providing the pulse for this rather bleak tune. The packaging contains lots of crayon art, along with an invitation for their fans to color in their own Box of Crayons logo and send it in (in the interest of "interactive art"). Yes, this is esoteric stuff, and though I'm not sure if I like it yet, it sure got my attention.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Box of Crayons

Latest news

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Soft Machine - Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971 – The challenge for any archivist of the Soft Machine catalog has been to present just what it was like to attend a performance by the classic line-up of Wyatt, Dean, Ratledge, and Hopper. Now with half...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues