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Review: The Red Paintings, 'The Revolution Is Never Coming'

The Red Paintings

For any musical artist, there's nothing more rewarding than the release of your debut album. So what happens when it takes you years to finally release it? For Australian act The Red Paintings, founded by head honcho Trash McSweeney, it's been one crazy journey. The band have released a handful of EPs and a live album since their inception back in 2000 but never got down to focusing on their full length debut release. The album was funded via fan donations in 2007, but worldwide tours with acts like Mindless Self Indulgence, Saul Williams and The Dresden Dolls over the following years dug into much needed recording time. When it was time to find a record label, Brooklyn based The End Records, home to fellow Australian act Virgin Black, was the perfect fit.

The Revolution Is Never Coming is the culmination of everything The Red Paintings have gone through in their cherished existence. Anyone that has seen the band live knows how over-the-top and engaging their performances have been over the years. For those that haven't witnessed The Red Paintings in person, you can certainly get the gist of their live insanity through this album. As one would expect, a handful of older tunes such as "Dead Adults" and "Walls" have strategically found their way on the debut release.

The Revolution Is Never Coming feels like 13 dismal chapters of an apocalyptic novel set to the cinematic musical stylings of Hans Zimmer. Perhaps that's what makes the record so much more opulent in value. McSweeney's lyrics should be just as assertive as the grandiose music which gives said lyrics character. "The Streets Fell Into My Window" is a morbid adaptation of Alice In Wonderland with its focal point on death ("The streets came in/Into my window/Now the war begins,my dear/As you're passing this life).  The Nine Inch Nails-inspired number "Wasps" revolves around the arrival of aliens on the homeland with the narrator seemingly bewildered about the situation at hand ("No one's here to collect your daughter/ Bear in mind, it's the hour past midnight/ What am I trying to say?"). With its energetic pulse, "Wasps" is the kind of track that could easily find itself blared inside every industrial club in America. McSweeney seems to work more thoroughly with longer songs like "Hong Kong" which features a near catastrophic orchestral bridge that would simply flourish in a live atmosphere. Perfectly ending the record is the title track which feels more like a call to arms than a gloomy view on society. The constant cry of "Your revolution's never coming" is enough to make people stand up and actually make a change in this somewhat chaotic world we live in.

For a lot of their fans worldwide, this album is a huge sigh of relief. Gone are the days of patiently waiting for this masterpiece to finally arrive. Those who randomly stumble upon this release might find themselves spellbound to each lush violin stroke and every progressive twist and turn present. The Revolution Is Never Coming drops next Tuesday.