Review from www.pitchfork.com .
Following the release of their debut, the Oxford, Miss., band the Colour Revolt were dropped by local label Fat Possum, and three of the five members bolted. The remaining musicians, Jesse Coppenbarger and Sean Kirkpatrick, recruited a new group and recorded The Cradle, so titled to suggest a new beginning. Coppenbarger recounts the whole ordeal on opener “8 Years”, in which he sends dispatches from low-level indie touring: sharing stages with Q and Not U, watching lesbians make out on the mechanical bull, endless treks between shows, and pointless nights of drinking, playing, and puking. This cautionary tale is by turns anguished and ridiculous, insightful and unbelievable, and the band makes it sound like a violent venting of disappointments, regrets, and recriminations. Avoiding the easy romance of the road, Coppenbarger refuses to glorify the Colour Revolt self-destruction, instead wondering why the hell they even bothered. What did those eight years bring them, except the opportunity to do it all again?
With its ballsy cynicism and Coppenbarger’s disgruntled performance, “8 Years” not only represents the Colour Revolt at their absolute best, but it introduces a band that would appear to have risen stronger and more strident from its own ashes. Sadly, that appearance is deceiving, and The Cradle never lives up to that first impression. Instead, Revolt 2.0 settle back down to being a workmanlike blog-rock band. The guitars reach for indie-rock transcendence but never grasp it, and Coppenbarger’s self-questioning rants become self-absorbed groans. As a songwriter, he ignores the rigors of band life and assays the type of vague lyrics that signify import without ever delivering. His pseudo-profundities might make Interpol scratch their heads: “If love is blind, where’s your harness?” he poses on the molasses ballad “Everything Is the Same”, “If love is seen, where’s your illness?”
Rather than a confident album by a road-tested band, The Cradlesounds like the debut of a group that doesn’t really know itself yet. Perhaps it’s a transitional album, and the Colour Revolt’s follow-up will find them developing their own sound. “8 Years” is about making sure all the effort, all the disappointment, and all the hell a band can put itself through in search of an excited audience is worth it. But here it sounds like they went through all that just to make one memorable song and nine forgettable ones.