Some bands rely on gimmicks or novelties to win an audience. The Color Truth rely on making great music. In their relatively short time together, the Milwaukee based quartet has won an ever increasing audience with their remarkable brand of straight from the heart rock; a blend of unforgettable melodies, intelligent lyrics and powerful music that has made converts of those who have heard them. Their current, debut EP, Proof Of Life, is evidence of the band becoming one of the best emerging acts from the midwest.
Comprised of Zach Steinbach on lead vocals and guitar, David Streese on lead guitar, Dana Nielsen on bass and Frank Babeck on drums, the band is a musical partnership in which the whole adds up to much more then the sum of its parts. Listenable, yet true to its own sound, the band’s goals are simple: “We’re trying to make honest music – our own straightforward pop/rock,” declares Zach.
Songwriting for the band is a collaborative process. Zach brings in a song idea, and then it is expanded upon and refined by the band. He explains, “Everyone brings their own thing to the songs. Dave has a great ear for melody and he brings real life to the songs – he makes the arrangements explode. Dana brings a steadiness to the music. He knows when not to play, which really allows the songs to breathe. And Frank is incredibly solid; he has a great feel for tempo and is always coming up with new parts, keeping things interesting rhythmically.”
After forming in late 2006, and having their first show at the Milwaukee Summerfest in July of 2007, the band went into the studio in early 2008 to record what would become Proof Of Life. By all accounts, the band’s breakthrough came in the recording of “Moment Of Release.” As Zach recalls, “We wanted to capture a real mood with the song – contemplative, reflective and emotional. We really had to strive to reach it, but when we were laying those huge sounds down, we knew we hit it. It was then we knew that we really had something as a band.”
Indeed, “Moment Of Release” has an anthemic and epic quality that hypnotizes from the first note. With a catchy opening guitar figure by Dave, Dana’s dramatic bass and Frank’s steady and propulsive drumming, the foundation is laid for Zach’s vocals, which range from falsetto to full throttled rock power. As the song explodes into its unforgettable chorus, it is clear that this is a band with the talent to remind people of everything they once loved about rock and roll.
“Words Or Letters” too, has a radio ready quality about it that renders it immediately memorable. The band’s ability to shift from contemplative to rocking is remarkable for its effortlessness and ease. The band complements each other perfectly; the guitars melt into the rhythm section perfectly, and Zach’s vocals float about the mix, taking the listener on a joyous ride. These are traits that would be accomplished for any act- but given that this is the band’s debut, the songs on Proof Of Life are astonishing.
The band is concentrating on building upon their following and buzz in Milwaukee. Currently gigging 2 to 3 nights a month, they are clear in the intention of becoming a full-time, working band. Zach says with pride, “We’ve barely scratched the surface of what we’re capable of. We’re committed to getting this EP in front of people and having it heard.” And it is utterly and completely obvious, given the quality of the songs on Proof Of Life, that the more exposure The Color Truth receive, the sooner they will become one of the most important new bands to watch in the midwest. This is truly a band to watch.