As side projects go, Ultimate Painting might be one of the better ones. Consisting of Londoners Jack Cooper (Mazes) and James Hoare (Veronica Falls), between them they might just have produced something of a stoner/slacker classic. I bet right this minute, the vinyl version of ‘Green Lanes’ is being used by some clued up hipster to perform an act of medicinal origami, perhaps an ideal accompaniment to this heady mix of deadbeat swamp rock, lo-fi indie and pure pop. Imagine Keith Richards marooned in late 1960s Coney Island and you’re there or there abouts sound wise but that doesn’t really do these expertly crafted little nuggets justice, there is definitely more to ‘Green Lanes’ here than meets the ear.
From the twin incursion of jangly guitar on the gentle paced opener ‘Kodiak’, together with the minimalistic use of words about every day stuff, less is definitely more in the world of Ultimate Painting, not forgetting that their first musical collaboration yielded a song that became the band’s name, that’s efficiency for you….either that or they simply couldn’t be arsed. ‘Sweet Chris’ is a lament to lost love, one of a pair of songs to noticeably include Lou Reed favourite words ‘all right’ in the chorus, along with the soothingly pianoed ‘Break the Chain’. ‘(I’ve got the) Sanctioned Blues’ provides us with a barnstorming shuffle as our heroes’ suffer numerous delays on a train journey including ticket barriers, a suicide on the line and then bumping into someone whilst trying to play catch up, as time and again we hear the withering words ‘Come on man, you’ve made me late you know you’ve really fucked me’.
Other highlights include the eerily alluring ‘I Was Lost’ complete with its off-key guitar, the delightfully forlorn ‘Paying the Price’ as you’re snuck upon by sublime fuzzy keyboard. The ramshackle ‘Woken by Noises’ sounds like a head on collision between ‘It’s the End of the World as we Know It (and I Feel Fine)’ and ‘Waiting for My Man’ and ‘Out In The Cold’ brings things to a cold but comfortable finale.
Love it. Take me to your dealer.
'Green Lane' is out via Trouble In Mind on August 7th
Words - Mike Price
Ultimate Painting Official