Ultimate Painting are the coupling of musicians from two bands. In essence this is a collaboration between James Hoare (Veronica Falls) and Jack Cooper (Mazes). This enjoyable debut is full of jangly guitars and deadpan delivery. Indeed it is clear that Messrs Hoare and Cooper are somewhat smitten by the the early Velvet Underground although a dash of Pavement can be thrown in for good measure. It all adds up to a nice rehash of the "couldn't give a s**t, nonchalant vibe" that Lou Reed and John Cale once patented.
Check out the brilliant "Talking Central Park Blues" which ticks over beautifully, full of Dylan style lyrics and a minimalistic guitar backdrop aimed at economy rather than the showy bombastic. Other songs like "Riverside" do sound like they might have been penned in consultation with Ray Davies although it is jaunty "Ten Street" that impresses most. Perhaps the Stephen Malkmus link is pushed a bit to hard on "Winter in your heart", yet you can forgive them anything with tracks like "She's a bomb" full of classical sixties pop hooks and crooked analogue synths. There is nothing here that hasn't been done before but to be fair to Ultimate Painting they have produced an album packed with warmth and idiosyncrasies, plus it also reminds you to get out the "Velvet Underground with Nico" for another spin which is the nearest thing to a public service that can be provided by any album.
Review by Red on Black