- by Sean Hewson Rating:9 Release Date:2016-09-30 Label: Trouble In Mind
Ultimate Painting started out as a side-project for James Hoare from Veronica Falls and Jack Cooper of Mazes, but they are quietly becoming quite a big deal. Dusk, their third album, was recorded by the duo at Hoare's home in North London. The band think it's their best album and I agree with them.
There is very little that can be said about Dusk. It is a simple and beautiful piece of work with a lovely, lazy feel to it. Ultimate Painting's sound is a mixture of the Velvet Underground and Big Star's third albums with a bit of US 60s Folk-Rock and a tiny bit of Neu! Central to the album is Hoare and Cooper's guitars and voices. As guitarists they are never showy but also never predictable. They have developed a neat, arpeggio-based style of playing where it's impossible to tell who does what. They take turns on lead vocals, and back each other with little harmonies. They have also added some nice, little bits of synth, piano, and electric piano. Melissa Rigby's well-judged and understated drumming holds it all together. The songs themselves are simple, classic without being obvious or derivative.
Dusk is a wonderful album. Fans of Younghusband's Dissolver will find much to enjoy here. The only problem is that, when an album is this well-organised, lovingly constructed and totally lacking in any unnecessary embellishments, there's very little that you can say about it other than it's an absolutely cracking record and you should probably get it.