Ultimate Painting – Green Lanes (Trouble in Mind Records; 2015)
After watching Kanye West’s unapologetic presidential announcement at the VMAs, I had to clear my mind with some humble musicians. I popped in my earphones and swayed my way through the sound of Ultimate Painting. This Jack Hooper and James Hoare duo was formed after they ditched their respective bands, Veronica Falls and Mazes. Now, they have a new CD that’s way more enjoyable than their previous ones. It’s just as mellow and joyful as their previous albums, but better produced and, consequently, less dark. “Break the Chain” sounds like a far-fetched replica of The Beatles’ “In my Life” in its last verses, and “Two From The Vault” sporadically mirrors Jack Johnson. In between, you’ll hear some Buddy Holly in the hit single, “(I’ve Got the) Sanctioned Blues.” The sweet, but somewhat repetitive guitar riffs accompany the soft-spoken lyrics about their everyday life. The addition of live drummer Neil Robinson on the new album changes the dynamic and gives the sound a more authentic feel.
Trial track: “(I’ve Got the) Sanctioned Blues”