The Technicolors bring multifaceted talent to new EP 'Ultraviolet Disguise'

Phoenix locals The Technicolors released a new EP, titled "Ultraviolet Disguise," on Tuesday on Phoenix label 8123.

Stealing the spotlight, however temporarily, from a show's headliners is a feat most bands would envy and one that is rarely seen in the world of opening bands. However, Phoenix locals The Technicolors somehow manage to do so with its loud guitars and smooth falsettos, whether it's opening for Walk the Moon at Super Bowl Central or for The Maine at the Marquee Theatre.

The Technicolors released a new EP, titled "Ultraviolet Disguise," on Tuesday on local label 8123. The Technicolors joined the label in October and are opening for fellow 8123-ers The Maine on its American Candy Tour.

The EP boasts a more subdued, more mature sound than the band's 2012 debut full-length, "Listener," which contains fan favorite songs like "Sweet Time" and "Hollywood."

The band, which is made up of lead vocalist and guitarist Brennan Smiley, keyboardist Troy Lowney and bassist Mike Nicolette, has been on the Phoenix scene for a few years and draws its inspiration from '90s guitar rock, which is clear from its pure rock sound.

The EP opens with rollicking pop-rocker "I'll Love You Someday." The fast-paced track highlights Smiley's versatile vocals as he transitions from the staccato falsetto of the verses into the snarling chorus. The band's signature loud, clear guitar sound plays as big a role as it always does, but is complemented by a more nuanced use of vocals and drums to bring a more engaging edge to the band's music.

Another highlight of the EP is its second track, the mysterious serenade, "Tonight You Are Mine." This track shows a darker side to The Technicolors' usually peppy pop-rock sound. However, rather than dampening the mood of the EP, the track provides an interesting taste of a new facet of the band's sound with its creeping vocals and stalking beat.

Next comes the most experimental track on the EP, "Heavy Leather," which ventures more into the world of pop music with its danceable drum beat and chant-like chorus. The song displays Smiley's capability to play the part of bad-boy vocalist, as he tempts, flirts and swears to "tell it to your mother" if you come with him. 

While this predatory character isn't normal for the unassuming, approachable Smiley, it's oddly appealing in this song as he leaves the listener contemplating following him into his much-referenced lair. The song's seductive pop sound provides a high point for the EP and will surely prove to be a hit when played live.

"Feels Like Trouble," the album's Ryan Adams-esque rocker of a fourth track, has already been a hit with fans on the opening dates of the American Candy Tour. Smiley and Nicolette both identify this track as their favorite off of the new album. "Trouble" offers a stripped-down poeticism that gives the otherwise fast-paced album a nice jolt of softness that showcases the band's skill as songwriters as well as rock stars.

The EP's final track, "This Time Around," is an acoustic ballad that brings to close a varied piece that shows just how much The Technicolors are capable of as artists. Smiley's soft croon of a voice is absolutely swoon-worthy over the smooth guitar picking of the track. The track is as emotionally affecting as it is pleasant to listen to, as Smiley's desperate, yearning voice builds in feeling as the bass drum begins to tap in the background. 

It somehow manages to provide both a climax and a resolution to what is, overall,  an impressive EP that displays exactly where The Technicolors are capable of going. While no concrete plans are set for the release of the band's sophomore EP, here's hoping that fans will soon get more of what "Ultraviolet Disguise" provides: a multi-faceted, compelling sound hard to find in the at-times tumultuous scene of local music.

Reach the assistant arts & entertainment editor at ezentner@asu.edu or follow @emilymzentner on Twitter

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