The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

Living colour – The Chair In The Doorway



The Chair In The Doorway, Living Colour’s first album since Collide0scope 6 years ago signals a return to form for this anachronism of a band. An all black rock band is rare in itself, and L.C. never shied away from singing about oppression and struggle, racism and inner city woes. Mind you, they also sang about Glamour Boys and being Bi – so it wasn’t all po-faced preaching.

Musically the band are back to their melodic best, with a seriously solid rhythm section in Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish, and Vernon Reid is at his virtuosic best making sounds with his guitar not heard this side of Rage Against The Machine. Corey Glover’s voice is in great form also, mellifluous and melodic here, abrasive and anarchistic there.

But more than all that, we’re interested in the SONGS, and TCITD is chock full of them.

Opener Burned Bridges maybe references the band’s breakup in the heady days of their original success, equating that craziness to literal madness – “Can’t shut my ears off to the sound of my own screams, no matter how I try I can’t escape my dreams”. It’s a great song and features some of L.C.’s trademark thoughtful lyrics and a mental solo from Reid.

Decadance talks about “the ugliness of beauty” and “the access of excess” – once again reminding the listener that the band were never one for vacuous cock-rock lyrics. Young Man is about being lost and alone, another recurring theme for this band. Behind The Sun shows Glover’s skill at finding hidden beauty, and Bless Those (Little Annie’s Prayer) features a strong and playful blues lick from Reid.

Out Of My Mind’s chorus features the lyric “Wanted to be a king, cos I want everything, now I’ve got nothing. Thought I had control, I found I lost my soul” – another song that could easily be taken as referencing the band’s 90’s success and subsequent implosion.

Bonus track Asshole is another great number with a driving riff and clever lyrics (“I had a dream, it was talking to me, it said ‘you’re an asshole’”) and a memorably strong melody and histrionic solo – in short, it’s everything you want from a Living Colour song, and it summarises this album well. Get it, it’s a great record.