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Painted Wives: Obsessed with the End

Painted Wives is a relatively new band out of Huntington Beach, CA (my old stomping grounds). The music on this album is best described as eclectic, but it somehow reaches beyond that, perhaps even into categories we're not yet sure of. I've heard plenty of bands that mix sounds and styles in ways that either sounds like a giant mess or that develops something entirely new and interesting. This band tries to show that there is a third option, one that wants to explore new possibilities by dismantling easy notions of influence and genre. To some extent, Painted Wives has already courted plenty of positive attention—and it's easy to see why. The band has energy, musical chops, and decent songwriting ability. However, the band is sometimes less than the powerhouse it promises to be. Maybe I'm just the wrong audience, but tracks like "Hollow Bones," "My Sisters," and "Icy Blonde," did not impress me as much as "Saint" and "Kubrick Tongue." Though performed well, those other tracks come off as more accessible, perhaps more poppy, than they should have. For me, the biggest question has to do with audience. There's plenty of energy on those tracks, but who is the target audience?

At times, the styles on display here feel so different and so at odds with each other that the effect is similar to listening to the radio and watching television with both volumes turned up high. I don't mean that too critically—it's honestly just the easiest way to capture the effect of this music's sound. On the whole, I found myself simultaneously attracted to, and baffled by, this album. At times, as in the aforementioned "Kubrick Tongue" or "Saint," things work generally well; I can hear a band developing a voice and a sound that should work well with audiences ready for something fast and fun. At other times, however, the music lost track of its eclectic strengths and turned toward something overly commercial, even overly emotive. Painted Wives needs to follow its muse and I won't begrudge them that; nevertheless, I wonder what sounds represent the band the most. The music here was originally self-released but is now remastered by famed producer Machine and is being distributed by Century Media.

Track Listing:
1. Perfect Horror
2. Hollow Bones
3. Fable
4. Dig
5. Countless
6. My Sisters
7. Congratulations
8. Icy Blonde
9. Kubrick Tongue
10. Saint
11. Stay with Me
12. Interstellar Grace

Added: April 4th 2016
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2194
Language: english

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