December 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Ultimate Painting – Self-Titled

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Ultimate Painting
Self-Titled
Trouble In Mind
Street: 10.20
Ultimate Painting = The Velvet Underground + (Pavement / Pinback)

I wonder whether the reason I hear The Velvet Underground’s influence in so much modern rock is because they still greatly influence it, or that I’m just obsessed and I hear what I want to hear. When it comes to Ultimate Painting’s self-titled debut LP, though, I know I’m not crazy—it sounds almost exactly like the VU, specifically their 1969 self-titled record. The title track’s guitar jangle and twang is purely “Some Kinda Love,” and the chiming “Central Park Blues” duplicates the sound of “What Goes On,” but with preciously disaffected lyrical verses in Courtney Barnett style. “Riverside,” with its melancholy synth and one-beat rhythm, strays from the VU sound, but “Ten Street” brings it right back. If it weren’t for the vocals, I’d think half of these songs by the UK duo actually were The Velvet Underground—and that’s why I can’t stop listening to it. –Cody Kirkland

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