Unique, experimental, strange, emotional, brilliant.
Highly anticipated by fans, especially long-time fans who listened through numerous EPs, singles, and a strings album, the debut LP from The Red Paintings does not disappoint upon its arrival. The experimental art-rock five-piece take us on a journey, not the same as Bilbo’s but just as unexpected.
The opener Vampires Are Chasing Me creates a sound we haven’t heard from them before, less energetic but all encompassing. It only spans just under four minutes but the song is vast, seeming to sweep us across large distances and through various worlds. It sets the scene perfectly for the rest of the album which can only be described as epic. It’s like an alien abduction where the little men do away with the probing and replace it with whatever your heart desires. From here we move on to Dead Children which is familiar to us with Trash McSweeney both haunting and aggressive on the microphone. A diverse set of songs follow, covering topics from aliens to Alice in Wonderland in energetic and frantic orchestral rock. There’s repulsion in Dead Children, fear in Wasps, creepiness in The Streets Fell Into My Window, and a violin solo to die for in You’re Not One Of Them. In ‘Hong Kong’ and ‘Deleted Romantic’ we get a chance to catch our breath and while ‘Hong Kong’ is probably the weakest track on the album, ‘Deleted Romantic’ is one of the best. Trash evokes sadness and hope in equal measures, his voice almost distraught. One of the reasons this band is so great is lead singer Trash. Not many vocalists convince you of their passion and emotion better than he does. The closer The Revolution Is Never Coming personifies the epic journey aspect of the whole album. Its medieval opening takes us back in time and through the next seven minutes we are transported through time back to the present and shot out into the future. It’s uncertain where we end up, but one thing is for sure; it’s an album that won’t be soon surpassed.
Highlight: Impossible to choose, although the violin solo on ‘You’re Not One of Them’ deserves a mention.