Friday, March 14, 2008

Review: Alive in Wild Paint - Ceilings

Label: Equal Vision Records

Released: March 18, 2008

"The sky was cold-fire sunrise, the clouds alive in wild paint, but all of it blurred in the dynamite crescendo."

These words from Richard Bach's Illusions not only give Alive in Wild Paint their name, but also their essence. Not only do they evoke soundscapes every bit as vivid as these words, but they also have the same seemingly divergent natures of peace and chaos. Ceilings is an album that relies more on piano and layers of ambient noise than it does on the brash guitar, bass and drums of a typical rock band. The first reaction is that they've tapped into Ok Computer-era Radiohead, but the deeper influence is perhaps the Church who created a similar ebb and flow of soothing yet moving noise surrounding an almost folky organic center. This organic, human element is what separates them from similar bands. It isn't until "Sleep With Your Soul In," the album's seventh track, that there seems to be any harshness in Celings, yet its gentleness is a strange one, more unsettling than peaceful. Alive in Wild Paint doesn't break a tremendous amount of new ground so much as they bring a new approach, one that takes something that tends to be overly clever and under emotional and rehumanizes it. Like the Bach quote, they describe things in a strange way that touches something beneath the intellect.

Satriani: 8/10
Zappa: 7/10
Dylan: 7/10
Aretha: 7/10
Overall: 7/10



If you're curious about my rating categories, read the description.

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Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

rehumanizing.... I like that

9:29 AM  
Blogger taotechuck said...

I think your review was fairly accurate, but this album also taps into many of the things I like about Jimmy Eat World. I know you don't care much for Jimmy, but they really are a helluva good pop/rock band with an incredible understanding of dynamics, especially on some of their slower, non-radio songs. It's a shame they got the "emo" label slapped on them, because they transcend what that genre has become.

If Alive In Wild Paint is also channeling some of the best parts of The Church, you make me think I was wrong in dismissing The Church 15 years ago.

I'll make you a deal: I'll revisit The Church if you revisit Jimmy Eat World. We both may learn something.

12:13 PM  

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