THE RED PAINTINGS - The Revolution Is Never Coming

The Red Paintings - The Revolution Is Never Coming

13 songs
75:19 minutes
***** *****
The End


Trash McSweeney has been heading The Red Painings for fifteen years already, and in that time released a whole bunch of EPs and singles with his troupe of changing musicians. Until now I was not familiar with this band from Geelong in Australia, but their debut longplayer The Revolution Is Never Coming is making sure that I wonít forget them anytime soon.

The album has been five years in the making, and a lot of the material has been featured in different versions on preceding EPs, but even without knowing the source material, I am quite sure that this album will be standing out on its own. The thirteen tracks make it to seventy-five minutes, and the band employed a thirty-plus member orchestra to achieve the fullest possible sound.

After reading the info material, I was expecting shiny, happy music in the vein of The Polyphonic Spree and Iím From Barcelona, but the parallels to those two multi-member bands are mostly inexistent. The opener Vampires Are Chasing Me is still a rather slow starting track, but the sequenced drums hint at a harsher atmosphere that is bound to come. The following Dead Children is the first prime example of what this bunch of musicians is able of. The song comes with a hymnal chorus whose power is emphasised by the orchestral arrangements, nicely counterpointed by the martial sounding drum beat. Dead Adults is probably meant as a sequel, and although it doesnít have the same kind of mesmerising melody, it uses its seven and a half minutes wisely to build up an incredible amount of tension. Wasps is one of the bandís singles, combining powerful alternative rock with an undeniable penchant for industrial music. Definitely untypical but still wonderfully surprising. The albumís other single Youíre Not One Of Them is another great track, but much less furious than the preceding one. Instead we get once again The Red Paintingsí trademark quality songwriting that will touch even the toughest among their listeners. The nine minute running The Fall Of Rome which, with the equally long Hong Kong and the concluding title track, show the band at its vastest and most majestic. In fact they sometimes achieve operatic grandeur and drama that is mostly unprecedented in rock music.

I could go on and on about the qualities of The Revolution Is Never Coming. Fact is, this is such a great, if rather late, debut album that I am afraid to check out the bandís earlier material, as it would be hard to match the genius and originality of this more than hour long magnum opus. If the aforementioned The Polyphonic Spree and Iím From Barcelona had evil twins, or if Arcade Fire had the power of The Smashing Pumpkins and the drama of Mansun, we could have a similar sounding band, but frankly, letís allow The Red Paintings to stand all alone on their thrones. I rarely deal out the highest grade these days, so much music canít really touch me anymore, but I am happy to say that Trash McSweeney and his gang of musicians are the lucky exception.

Back to Reviews