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Culture Shock

Ultimate Painting--Dusk

Rating: 2/7

Release Date: 9/30/2016

Dusk is the third full-length album from Ultimate Painting, an indie rock outfit from London. My prior experience with Ultimate Painting came from listening to their first self-titled album. Their self-titled song from their self-titled album is a personal favorite of mine, with a solid guitar lead and some pretty nice backing vocals throughout. For this album, I heard one of the two singles that came out. "Bills," with its monotone vocals, somber guitars, and solid drum fills took me in. Little did I know, and much to my dismay, this would be the rest of the album--minus the solid drum fills.

The album feels a bit too one note: dreary guitars, monotone vocals. No song made an impression, and this review as I listen to the album seems harder and harder to write because there seems like there's nothing to say. I listened to this album three times, and I do not feel like I experienced anything. I feel as if it is partly the bassist's fault, in all of the songs, the bass barely deviates from the single note it plays throughout the song. The beat of each song also seems similar, with the same four count structure that only deviates in the number of snares and bass hits, but not pace (with the exceptions being "Who is Your Next Target?," "Bills," and "Song For Brian Jones" being more fast-paced, although they seem similar to each other in their own right).

The only thing that is completely apparent about the change in song to song is that "Lead the Way" is the only song that seems to be focused on piano rather than guitar. The singer seems to moan out every single lyric; I felt no emotion in his voice. This seeming disconnect between the singer and his music makes me lose interest in this album as a whole. How am I supposed to be interested in this album if they are not interested in this album?

If this album was put on shuffle, I would not be able to distinguish any of the songs from each other, except "Bills." The only solace I find in this album is that the lyrics are somewhat interesting, but interesting lyrics do not necessarily change how boring the album was as a whole. The album failed to catch my interest, and therefore my praise. I was pretty excited to hear the record from the single I heard a little while ago, and I have to say that this album overall was a disappointment for me.


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