Color (n.) Inside the Lines

An Album By


Review by

Listen now

Long ago, in a land far off in the depths of Norfolk, VA, there was a seasoned veteran of alt-indie-rock by the name of David Elkins. Best known for being the front man of Mae, Elkins packed his bags when Mae had run its course and moved to Nashville to focus on various musical ventures. As of late, he’s been focusing on his solo project, Schematic, along with a tastefully done and emotive debut LP, Color (n.) Inside the Lines.

The record showcases many experimental sounds for Elkins throughout the 14 tracks. It starts off with the melodic up-tempo song, “Outside,” followed by the much darker and haunting “Senseless Charades,” a song you might hear from more intricate outfits like Mew or Radiohead. Still present are the piano-driven rock tunes Mae fans will be familiar with, present in songs like “I am the Car” and “Stand.” The progressive-infused “Where’s The Soul” plays with psychedelic beats, and it lets the listener lose themselves in its array of sound. Heavier riffs and distorted guitar solos along with sharp lyrics show up in “Stockholder’s Meeting.”

On opposite ends of the spectrum, we get songs like “All the Birds are Singing” and “Are You Man Enough?” which made me forget I was listening to an  indie record. It could easily fit in with the catchy, synth-pop sing-a-longs on the radio. The album closes with the six-minute “Fluorescent,” an epic rock anthem that fuses the piano and violin with the already present full ensemble.

Though some aspects are a bit heavier than Elkins’s previous endeavors, the ambiance of the LP still contains the ever-so-soothing voice that makes one get lost in a rock and roll storybook world. Elkins may be treading new ground with this project and the umbrella it falls under, but the schematic for this new adventure is anything but mundane.


Tigerwine 2020

A Disparate Vintage

On Tigerwine's latest, 'Nothing is for You,' vocalist and lyricist Trobee departs from the band's last effort as a concept record to write about an array subjects. Notably, Trobee tackles his evolution from rigid belief system to an acceptance and understanding of other ideas: "Through touring and becoming close with those very people I was taught to be afraid of, I realized how untrue it all is."


Full Feature
Comrades 2020

Becoming Comrades

The trio of Comrades – husband and wife Joe and Laura McElroy alongside drummer John Gaskil – is used to living in a van and touring the country. Now, their new normal has provided them with a moment to "be adults" for once. We recently sat down with the McElroys to talk more about the spiritual reality within life, how soon they'll be able to release new music, and how koalas are their new normal.


Photo by Quinsey Sablan

Full Feature
Payable on Death – P.O.D.

A Voice of Life

Almost 27 years after the band's first studio album, P.O.D.'s message is arguably more important than ever. "I believe (our message) is even more relevant now than it was then. If you really listen to 'Youth of the Nation,' we still have these tragedies going on. There’s a lot of searching still going on out there."


Full Feature
HM covers from over the years

HM Magazine Turns 35

In 1985, Doug Van Pelt photocopied a letter-sized sheets of paper, bound them together, and handed them out in person on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. It's all digital now, but, along the way, Van Pelt stirred up quite a few waves, played some seriously heavy music, and made a few friends along the way. Here: A quick look back at the magazine's 35-year history with Van Pelt and new owner, David Stagg.


Full Feature
All Features