The Red Paintings: The Revolution Is Never Coming
My oh my, what do we have here? A genuine long playing The Red Paintings release that isn't live or acoustic? Haven't we been promised this for like a gazillion years? Hence for a band led by Trash McSweeny, who, as the story goes, has synesthesia a condition where the "sufferer" sees music as colour (or other such sensory confusions), the expectation levels are dauntingly high. Can Trash and the army of choirs, past and present band members and orchestras involved in creating the wonderfully titled The Revolution Is Never Coming all reach the peak of this anticipation and surmount it?
Well...sometimes...always...maybe...and definitely, all at once and never at the same time.
Some songs are regurgitations of previous EP tracks, or ideas from times gone by and so a lack of cohesion from song to song is pretty much a given. While some areas even seem to feel overworked in the production and editing department, untidy sound shifts and jumps slapping in surprising spots as they do so. Yet it's hard not to get sucked in by the Art, Prog, Indie, Avant-garde Rock that surges along on angsty ideals and pinpoint execution. Violin stabs and swoops, beats clamour and crash, vocals soothe and roar, guitars chime and rampage. In places "Wasps", "Street Fell Into My Window" and the album's title track are so intense it's as though the music itself is pushing down on you, trying to squeeze every drop of life from your body as you hope to engage it, before suddenly floating like a leaf on the wind, cajoling you to chase and jump in an effort to grasp it. Just as you think you have, the hammer blows rain down again and take the wind from your sails, leaving you washed up on the shores of confusion.
The journey is a long one, no quick fix expected or delivered, only perseverance and patience making sense of songs that flit from alien invasion to broken societies and Alices in Wonderland. However if you dig in, brace yourself for impact and slowly, slowly allow yourself to be immersed in the crazy; the pay off begins to reveal in waves and waves of melody hidden in the darkness. Lyrical madness begins to make sense as a conglomeration of sounds, instruments and voices separate just long enough to allow you in to enjoy the perfection of perfectly perfect madness.
You might need to free up a whole month on your calendar to truly get to the bottom of The Revolution Is Never Coming and even then your main thought might still be, "what was all that about then?", but I very much doubt you'll be anything other than engaged, enriched and glad you made the effort. If that all sounds too much like hard work then maybe this simply isn't for you. However if you yearn for an album able to create its own fully realised, yet crazily chaotic and in many ways flawed world (a rarity these days), then The Red Paintings have come up trumps.
1. Vampires Are Chasing Me
2. Dead Children
3. Dead Adults
5. Fall Of Rome
7. Streets Fell Into My Window
8. You're Not One Of Them
9. It Is As It Was
10. Hong Kong
11. Deleted Romantic
13. The Revolution Is Never Coming
Added: January 27th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Red Paintings online
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