Paint, Toronto Moon Review, September 30, 2016

Watching this Paint dry (or with drinks) will never be boring

by Gary 17
September 30, 2016

You could watch Paint dry tonight and I guarantee it would not be boring; but no need to do that when you can enjoy the benefits of the fully stocked bar at TO's Adelaide Hall while seeing the TO original art-Rock band put on a captivating musical and visual romp as they hold the only TO release party for their new album (disPLAY).

As the album title indicates, and the videos on their website and on their YouTube Channel confirm, this group is about creating a show visually as well as aurally, bringing dynamic lighting and stage presence to complement a an exciting guitar-rich sound and provocative lyrics, a combination that resonates traces of David Bowie, the 80s and Brit Pop in general, but that is passionately and intelligently original.

In addition to being an album of new originals -- their third after debut release Can You Hear Me? in 2009 and 2011's Where We Are Today -- (disPLAY) is also available as a concert dvd recorded live prior to the formal release.

The importance of the visual aspects of Paint's overall expression is very much reflected in their ongoing collaboration, as we mentioned previously, with filmmaker R. Stephenson Price, with whom last year they also released an original film, 11:11, for which the soundtrack was also issued as a four-song ep known as Based on Truth and Lies.

And the group has now upped the ante even further with the creation of a seven-episode series of video shorts about how the new album was created. The series, "(disASSEMBLED)", goes behind the scenes to explain the genesis of the album concept and its making. It's being released in weekly installments, posted every Tuesday on YouTube since the album unveiling, with two episodes put up so far.

As the initial webisode states, "the band name Paint is, in the literal sense of the word, a reference to visual media. The collective result is a bona fide display that in varying degrees of subtlety and bluntness serves as an allegory of how inundated Western culture has become by the flicker and fast moving of desensitizing media." All this as dramatically fast-moving, flickering images of the band performing flash across the screen and a song plays in the background! And there's lots more philosophy to come, a veritable stream of ideas that bears watching and listening to several times.

The group at the heart of this maelstrom is comprised of four very talented and dedicated performers: singer Robb Johannes, guitarist Jordan Shepherdson, drummer Devin Jannetta and Keiko Gutierrez on bass. All are indispensable and powerful parts of the picture that makes the band unique and enjoyable enough to have done well over 200 shows over the past eight years at a briskly accelerating pace. But special mention has to be made of guitarist Shepherdson, whose bubbling, urgent and mind-tingling licks are simply spectacular by anyone's measure. Johannes, meanwhile, has a voice that complements it perfectly, by turns pleading, haunting, menacing, enticing and declarative and always completely mesmerizing. The rhythm section does its job in spades, providing the springboard for the other two while adding elements that shape the sound without drawing attention to themselves except when special emphasis is needed.

Paint's album tour, which began in Hamilton in mid-September, has seen them do shows in Kingston, Ottawa, Oshawa and Peterborough already, with dates in Montreal, Barrie, London, and Rossmore in Prince Edward County yet to come.

Tonight's headlining appearance in the room at 250 Adelaide St. W., a couple blocks west of University Ave., also features supporting acts Dress Black, Rain Over St. Ambrose and Eriksen, about whom I know nothing (but who are probably well worth seeing if Paint had a hand in choosing them for the bill). I haven't actually visited the venue, but scouting it online it comes across as a space seriously dedicated to presenting a live show —designed to be modelled after a vintage recording studio according to its website and looking every inch a fun room in which to perform based on the photos. Cover for the event, which kicks off at 9 pm, is just $12 and presumably the album is a few bucks extra.

The original text of this article can be found at Toronto Moon.

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