The Red Paintings - 'The Revolution Is Never Coming' (Graphite/The End Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ben Hughes   
Thursday, 24 October 2013 04:00

The Red Paintings'The Revolution Is Never Coming' is an ambitious project 5 years in the making, the dream of one man named Trash McSweeney. His aim to realise his life long vision in one album with his band and here it is in 13 songs. His 5 piece band include guitar, bass, drums, cello and violin, backed on this album by a cast of no less than 50 musicians and singers, self-produced and fan-funded.


With 'The Revolution Is Never Coming' McSweeney gave his fan-base the opportunity to join in the making of the album. He amassed a 20 piece choir and a 35 piece orchestra including many fan members, so not only did fans donate to help get the album made, they could actually be part of the recording process and therefore be part of the finished product.


With Soviet military imagery and gothic stylings their visually impressive live shows incorporate performance art, projections and human canvasses, people who paint and get painted live on stage, creating a real time live art show along with the music. Yet are The Red Paintings just some overblown eccentric Art Rock band or is there more to this than meets the eye? Read on to unravel the mysteries of this most curious artistic endeavour.


Dramatic, epic, dark and cinematic and with several songs hitting the 9 minute mark it's not for the faint hearted or those with a short attention span. It's an overblown album of epic proportions that marries 30 Seconds To Mars commercial, modern progressive rock sound with classic Marilyn Manson electro goth-tinged Industrial rock, an imaginary soundtrack to some insane Tim Burton/Danny Elfman inspired rock opera.


Opening with the brooding 'Vampires Are Chasing Me' swathes of electronica, strings and an overall feeling of magic slowly being released to the world is created. It's a truly cinematic introduction to the more progressive and massive sound of the following 'Dead Children' a song that bursts from the speakers with what sounds like an army of strings literally stabbing the notes out like their players lives depended on it.


New single 'Wasps' is an ultra cool song, a spoken news reel setting the scene for cool Manson-like bass and beats as McSweeney takes us on a ride to a dark place with jarring distorted guitars, rousing melodies and general all round abrasiveness. It's a dark and twisted stab of NIN/Manson inspired beautiful noise with a suitably dark and twisted video to accompany it.


'The Fall Of Rome' has the orchestra in full flow as it builds to a massive crescendo and I can't imagine the band being able to recreate this live without that orchestra to back them up.


'Streets Fell Into My Window' opens with a spoken word recital of Alice In Wonderland that trails off into madness as the tribal drums set the groove. It's a descent into madness and Trash McSweeney's mind that could've easily sounded cheesy but somehow it works, as do the jagged guitar lines of 'It Is As It Was' which has definite Tool leanings.


The epic 'Hong Kong' with it's lush vocal harmonies builds and builds to a dramatic and intense false conclusion, just as you think it's all over a heavy stop/start section takes you on another trip into madness and heaviness. 'Deleted Romantic' is a beautiful acoustic respite from the drama that surrounds it, but it is not to last as the following piano-led 'Rain' takes off again.


Jarring violins introduce the final song over a fading heartbeat, the title track comes in on another Tool-like riff and a dramatic song dynamic follows as McSweeney sings the chorus along with a choir echoing his words, the song slows in pace to an end, like a record player losing power, but of course its another false end as he builds things up again to a powerful and ultimate finale which has instruments descend into musical madness for a final time seemingly fighting each other to the finish.


Lush strings overlay the whole album like an aural blanket that creates that overall cinematic feel, the glue that keeps the madness from all falling apart if you like. The sound spectrum is diverse for sure but not enough to break away from the Prog/Art Rock tagging they will surely get. Each song seems to be on a mission to outdo the previous in the epic stakes, as each listen delivers something new and fresh to the ears. Epic in sound, style and production every effort and attention to detail does not go unnoticed.


Trash is a man who has sacrificed much and compromised little in the last 5 years to bring his vision to the world, and some accomplishment it truly is. Trash has fully realised his dream album and a highly polished album at that. Produced and written by one man and bought to the world by a cast of literally hundreds, it's ambitious to say the least and he has successfully reinterpreted the madness going on in his mind to music. The fusion of multiple musical genres makes for an interesting and diverse sounding album with much to digest.


The Revolution may well never come but The Red Paintings surely are here, Trash McSweeney may be one man but his following is growing in numbers and we can only expect it to grow further.


To pick up your copy of 'The Revolution Is Never Coming' - CLICK HERE