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There's a certain "x factor" that goes into making great music as a band. Chemistry, magic, whatever you want to call's either there or it's not. And in the case of Gainesville, Florida's Colourslide, "it" is definitely there. Their debut self-titled release is an impressive collection of emotionally-charged, guitar-driven rock songs.

A melding of two bands (Gainesville's Time and Raleigh, North Carolina's Melbourne), Colourslide has taken the best elements of past incarnations and put them into the musical test tube. Lead singer Alex Lawhon belts out melodies that always seem to be teetering on the edge of haunting. Against the background of Dean Newman's searing guitar, precision rhythm by bassist Joe Palmer, and a dazzling array of guest instruments, Lawhon's penchant for the dramatic has at last found its home. Drummer Steve Julian deserves his own special mention -- whether he’s quietly laying the back beat or smashing the skins, Julian's performance is one of the strongest binding energies throughout the album.

Part of the magic of this CD is that no two songs sound alike, highlighting Colourslide's range and diversity. The band is the strongest on anthemic rock numbers like "Wake Up Call" and "Crave You,"; however, they sparkle on brooding, plaintive numbers such as "Eleventh Hour" and "Believer," too. Producer Ted Comerford's (Honor By August, Virginia Coalition) influence can be particularly felt on the more pop-leaning songs "Better" and "Home," but the switch from power-rock only further demonstrates Colourslide's capabilities to think outside their own box.

It may be prophetic that one of the strongest tracks on the album, "Suddenly Everything," tiptoes through stark verses into blistering choruses to declare in the last bars, "We are worth the wait, we are worth the wait ... and we arrive."

Indeed, with their debut release, Colourslide has arisen as a promising face of new rock. They've found the "x factor." If their debut is any indication of what's to come, Colourslide has been worth the wait.


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