One thing’s for damn sure: Coliseum know what they’re doing. They’ve been around long enough and they’ve seen parts of the world some of us (myself included) still dream of visiting; needles to say, the notoriety they’ve built up has been well earned. That worldliness, minus the pretentious undertones you might expect from a band as well traveled, is articulated quite well on their latest EP, Parasites.


One thing I was happy to hear; Coliseum still has that tinge of down-home feel on Parasites as they did on past releases, an aspect due in no small part to Ryan Patterson’s distinctive vocals. Not surprising; these guys call Louisville home. Commendable, too, is the fact that this release hasn’t been bogged down by decipherable resemblances to certain other bands hailing from the south. Far be them from it; they deliver their brand of southern indie-kissed punk in such a way making it accessible to niches far beyond our close-knit metal community, bringing a distinctive sound to the scene.

Coliseum are, at heart, a punk band. Through each song, we’re subjected to a well-crafted blend of Motörhead meets Sonic Youth, seasoned with hardcore tendencies throughout. Certainly, that’s not to say Coliseum is warily following in anyone’s footsteps, and I may even be grasping at straws a bit here. I’d still dare to say that Coliseum is helping reintroduce art-rock to a new generation and giving it a balls-out, punk encrusted makeover.

All that said: while I do appreciate what Coliseum is doing on Parasites and consider it a nice change of pace from a lot of other releases this year, it’s not far off from what they’ve been doing all along. If anything, their sound has been molded into something one could even consider fairly mainstream. There are, of course, offenses far worse, none of which are articulated in any track here. Approachability is a facet most, if not all bands strive to achieve in one form or another, and Coliseum really can’t be faulted for creating something that encapsulates that vibe. Parasites, mainstream or not, is an album I’m glad I checked out and am happy to have in my library.

(3 1/2 out of 5 horns)



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