Ultimate Painting — Green Lanes (August 7th, 2015)≡↑ První pocit je, že jsem zabloudil do garáže a dostal štamperlik (čti panáka). Pak ale slyším uvolněněji: Jack Cooper (Mazes) a James Hoare (Veronica Falls) se soustřeďují na šlachovité kytarové linky, ležérní melodie a postupně odhaluji zajímavé napětí uvnitř základních šablon. Je to měkčí, více utlumené, většina písní tiká středním tempem nebo pomalejším. Není to žádné překvápko, vždyť oni v poslední době používají modifikované logo Grateful Dead jako svůj avatar na Twitteru. Každá další skladba je subjektivně výraznější, souhra Cooper/Hoare pomalu vrtá jako červík do synapsí a zdánlivě anonymní melodie získávají svou osobnost. Je to soudržné, lyrika pracuje s přírodními tématy, slova jako oceán, pláž, mlha, slunce v kombinaci s prostými detaily všedního života dodávají náladu.
≡↑ Cooper a Hoare pronikají do univerzálních zážitků a jdou lehce do hloubky, to dodává jejich písním vintage odstín, nejvíce zřetelný s Beatles–que klavírem v Break the Chain. Takové klasické referenční body naznačují, že chlapci trpí averzí vůči riziku. ≡↑ Ale reálně se tím zavázali, že každý styl znamená vzít šanci do hrsti a to i v případě, že styl je ve své podstatě low–key. Beru to takhle: Velvet Underground se ve své době zdáli odvážnými, Ultimate Painting se podobně věnují klidu, jemným souvislostem, možná lze v tom spatřit pokorný hazard a čas ukáže. Mne nevadí, že Danielle Janota albu dává C mínus. Nehledím na jména. Nina Corcoran mu dává 7/10 a já to album poslouchám. To je na tom nejlegračnější, vždyť jsem ho ani neměl v plánu poslouchat, ani nemám v sobě štamperlik, je to čistá hudba bez trankvilizérů. ≡↑ Ano, vím, že Michael Stasis je zajímavější.
≡↑ Nejbližší setkání: Tue. Nov. 17 — Leipzig, DE @ Ilses Erika; Wed. Nov. 18 — Berlin, DE @ Acud. ®© By Juan Jose Ortiz
Location: London, UK
Album release: August 7th, 2015
Record Label: Trouble in Mind
01. Kodiak 3:09
02. Sweet Chris 3:37
03. (I've Got The) Sanctioned Blues 3:13
04. The Ocean 2:35
05. Two From the Vault 2:33
06. The Ocean (reprise) 1:05
07. Break the Chain 3:03
08. I Was Lost 2:44
09. Tee Zee Em 1:11
10. Paying The Price 2:57
11. Woken By Noises 2:08
12. Out In the Cold 3:08
Description original from band:
≡↑ After touring North America and Europe with contemporaries such as Parquet Courts, Twerps and White Fence, Jack and James quickly retreated to James' all analogue home studio just off Green Lanes in North London to record the follow–up, joined this time by Mazes drummer Neil Robinson.
≡↑ Recorded by James on one–inch tape, 'Green Lanes' perfects the template they created with the first LP. Five songs from each songwriter and with various shades of collaboration in between: “The song always comes from a melody, some vague structure and then maybe a verse and chorus worth of lyrics... but everything we do, be it a guitar part or harmony, is always filtered through the other person.”
≡↑ “I think we both have a very specific sound in mind that neither of us have ever tried to explain to each other and I think on this record we've figured out what songs we needed to write to compliment the sound we were getting at with the first LP. I guess, inadvertently, the lyrics and themes of the record have a cohesiveness that we hadn't really thought about with the first one. Although I'm (Jack) generally more optimistic, we both have this very similar English melancholic outlook.” Themes of isolation and nihilism hide beneath the breeziness and cloud of some beautiful classic melodies.
≡↑ Make no mistake, this is a guitar record and it's refreshing to hear two guitars so confused as to which one is leading, each leaving space and taking turns to rise to the surface and provide the hook. It feels like every little thing has been pored over and at the same time it seems completely on the fly, never contrived. Jack's lead guitar on 'Kodiak', a Grateful Dead–ish hook that circles around James' languid groove is the perfect example. The second track 'Sweet Chris' is as good as it gets... a perfectly crafted James song that could have been written at any point in the last 50 years. 'Break The Chain', too... a slice of very English pop music that got perfected at some point between Pink Floyd's Meddle and Blur's Modern Life Is Rubbish. Jack's '(I've Got The) Sanctioned Blues' skips and bobs through their native East London, the protagonist a victim of David Cameron's government and their draconian sanctions and benefit cuts. 'Into The Ocean' and its clouded nostalgia lyrically echoes the sonics of the record. It pines for simpler times, rose tinted and dusky. ≡↑ Description:
≡↑ RIYL: Feelies, Dick Diver, Parquet Courts, Velvet Underground. Green Lanes is the second album from London–based band Ultimate Painting. Formed as a loose collaboration by Jack Cooper (Mazes) & James Hoare (Veronica Falls) the project quickly turned into a full–fledged band in 2014 with the release of their s/t debut album on Trouble In Mind. That album received praise worldwide from NME, Pitchfork, Consequence of Sound & more & with Green Lanes the band is poised for more accolades. The album is focused & cohesive, the result of two voices becoming one and each member's songs complimenting the other, carving out a distinct & unified voice as Ultimate Painting. Slinking out of the gate, the first song Kodiak is an hummable future–classic with Cooper & Hoare's guitars dancing around each other with ease. The licks & lyrics conjuring up images of Sixties California & Seventies New York; a picture of dark clouds on a sunny day. The rest of the album follows suit with the airy, lush harmonies of Sweet Chris & Two From The Vault and even kicks up some dust with the chooglin' (I've Got The) Sanctioned Blues and the manic Woken By Noises . While their s/t debut was all Cooper & Hoare, this time out, they are augmented by the addition of their live drummer Neil Robinson who provides propulsion on all but one of Green Lanes's tracks. The album artwork was once again provided by Portland artist Bradley Kerl, who portrayed Hoare's London flat & recording space chock full of the equipment used to record both the band's albums casually tumbling toward the viewer. 2015 sees the band hitting the road again, with appearances at UK & European Festivals as well as a full US Tour in the fall in support of Green Lanes.
By Marc Masters; August 3, 2015; Score: 7.4
≡↑ Ultimate Painting named their first album Ultimate Painting, and opened it with a song called "Ultimate Painting". Those neutral titles matched the duo's no–frills music. ≡↑ Centered on the wiry guitar lines of Jack Cooper (Mazes) and James Hoare (Veronica Falls), their economical three-minute songs echoed the patient melodies of the Velvet Underground's self–titled third album and the workingman's garage–pop of New Zealand bands like the Chills and the Bats. Ultimate Painting was winningly casual, the sound of two congenial dudes psyched to roll out easygoing melodies. But repeat listens revealed intriguing tensions inside basic templates.
≡↑ The group's follow–up, Green Lanes, sounds even more casual. It's mellower and more subdued, with most songs ticking along at medium tempo or slower. At first it even seems that Ultimate Painting might have gotten too relaxed, drifting into zoned–out territory (they did recently use a modified Grateful Dead logo as their Twitter avatar). But much like its predecessor, Green Lanes grows more interesting and distinctive with each subsequent rotation. Cooper and Hoare's deceptively simple interplay slowly worms into your synapses, as their seemingly anonymous melodies gain personality.
≡↑ That's part of what makes Green Lines so cohesive, since its lyrical themes are as simple as its moods. Many songs focus on the austere pleasures of nature — words such as ocean, beach, fog, and sun recur — as well as the plain details of daily life. ≡↑ One of the catchiest tunes, the lament "(I've Got the) Sanctioned Blues", plays like the song about unemployment benefits VU never wrote.
≡↑ Songs like that could easily come off as run–of–the–mill, but Ultimate Paining infuse their short, spartan verses with deep contemplation. Just as Real Estate's music gathers meaning in nostalgia, Cooper and Hoare tap into universal experiences that approach profundity rather than mundanity. This gives their songs a vintage hue, most obvious in the Beatles–esque piano of "Break the Chain" and the Beach Boys–like vocal harmonies of "Paying the Price".
≡↑ Such classic reference points make it tempting to call Green Lines a low–stakes record. Music this devoid of attention–seeking flash or overt ambition can sometimes appear risk–averse. But truly committing to any style means taking a chance, even if that style is inherently low–key. American Analog Set and Low built a wide palate with an understated approach, and the quietude of that third Velvet Underground album seemed daring at the time. Ultimate Painting are similarly devoted to a calm, subtle cause, and on Green Lines that humble gamble again pays off handsomely. ≡ http://pitchfork.com/
By Nina Corcoran; Aug 03, 2015; SCORE: 7/10
By Michael Cyrs, 31 July 2015; Score: 6/10