Review: Alive in Wild Paint – Ceilings

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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.

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

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About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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