Red Painted Red - Preach EP

Owain Paciuszko 23/12/2008

Rating: 3/5

Opening over a cute electronic organ line expectations are immediately confounded by the introduction of a small choir backing vocal and then lead singer Yvonne Neve's Beth Gibbons/Alison Goldfrapp-like voice, and then the drums start. At first these varying styles bewilder, but they manage to find an equilibrium as the song develops.

Rather than continue with this balance the second track My Friend jars again with its collection of strange samples as Neve swings, schizophrenically between being Kate Bush and P. J. Harvey. The samples keep throwing you out of the song with snatched grabs of dialogue either laughing at you or muttering 'Go on' and 'Kill me', things never sit right together and for all its trip-hop experimentation its just a bit of a mess.

At first A Book seems to be going the same way, but it quickly cobbles things together and is an interesting, very Portishead-esque track with its processed sounding drum-beat, mixed with strings and piano, whilst Neve switches between spoken-word and singing.

Things return to the sample/song awkward mix with Preach, it generally manages to cobble things together with more skill as the samples and the song seem to be on a similar wave-length; namely religion, and there's some excellent eerie background noise, combined with electronic choir 'ooos' as Neve's voice reaches a level of genuine sounding (if ultimately melodramatic) despair. It's the most emotionally evocative track here, and though - like My Friend it feels a little off-kilter that, here at least, seems to be the point!

Red Painted Red are an intriguing and intersting band, but their ideas currently outweigh their ability to fix them together into something that really holds your attention. This is a bold little EP, and clearly the band put a lot of thought and effort into their work, but it feels a little scattered and inconsistent.