Red House Painters
Down Colorful Hill


4.5
superb

Review

by lateoctober USER (9 Reviews)
February 6th, 2008 | 79 replies | 12,629 views


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A harrowing and difficult listen. The Red House Painters debut is a strong and rewarding album which shows a band progressing towards full maturity earlier than most of there contemporaries.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written



Provided with minimal over dubbing and the dampened reverb of the bands early demo sessions, The Red House Painters first LP, "Down Colorful Hill" is given a distinct and haunting sound. Despite it's songs being collected from early demo tapes Mark Kozelek and his band mates are assured and confident with there performances. Even though keeping to languid pacing through out most of the records 43 minutes (and with just six songs) the themes tackled and Kozelek’s cynical persona keeps things afloat. Kozelek delivers bleak and autobiographical statements of subjects ranging from the fear of aging (24) to a best friends fall into adult delinquency (Michael) Opening and bookending the album superbly, these songs are probably the least cryptic and disturbing of the material the record has to offer.

The bands musicianship is of a high rate and Kozelek does a fine job at including influences, using the chiming guitars of R.E.M and the atmospheric and eclectic pacing of fellow Sad Core lynch pins, American Music Club. The music also has hidden complexions. There is an effective use of dissonance in the backing guitar for the records only lively song Lord Kill the Pain and the albums first flat out masterpiece: the epic, almost 10 minutes long, Medicine Bottle. Medicine bottle is probably the most relatable song here, dealing with romantic co-dependency and the struggle to hold down the emotions it brings. All six songs offer a distinct character narrative which probably peaks with the title tracks bleak and disappointed resignation.

Whilst "Down Colorful Hill" is an emotionally honest record and a highly consistent one at that (there's not a dud in the lot) it can also prove to be a draining and nihilistic experience. Kozelek's tormented yet gracefully sang words can suck you in and effect your mood in a less than positive manner. Depending on what your looking for in one sitting this may be to much of a task to handle, which may be the records most noticeable flaw. However those willing to endure the records punishing scope of subjects will find it to be a very cathartic and rewarding experience, even if they cant instantly give it a repeated listen.

Kozelek would return a year later to offer in my opinion, was his strongest record - the self titled release, later known as "Rollercoaster". That record may appeal to a more accepting audience but Down Colorful Hill retains the blue print for almost all of Kozelek's future releases and it should be essential to those interested in sampling or following the Sad Core genre.



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user ratings (159)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
lonelyspacepanda (5)
When music gives you something in life that nothing else can, it doesn’t matter what it sounds l...


Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
February 6th 2008



14504 Comments


This review convinced me to listen to the album, which means it was a success. Nice work.

lateoctober
February 6th 2008



171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks you for the comment reznor, I was a little nervous on how my first review on here would be received. I hope to do more like this one and keep things short and sweet (and informative of course) I also hope you enjoy the album.

rasputin
February 6th 2008



14504 Comments


cheers, I'll look into it when I can. Welcome to sputnik.

Doppelganger
February 6th 2008



3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. A few grammar mistakes, but that's about it. Very nice first.

MediocreAtBest
February 6th 2008



1473 Comments


Yah nice first. This sounds like a grower but like it would be cool.

Zebra
Moderator
February 6th 2008



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album. "Medicine Bottle" is the best song that the Red House Painters have ever written.

Doppelganger
February 6th 2008



3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I still really need this album. The only RHP that I have is RHP I, which has grown on me immensely.

fireaboveicebelow
February 6th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

THANK YOU no one knows this band it seems. Great review too!

iarescientists
February 6th 2008



5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Plenty of people know this band

Mark Kozelek is pretty much synonymous with God in the underground music scene.

Anthracks
April 12th 2010



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

is this as depressing as red house painters I?

Digging: Tobacco - Ultima II Massage

Zizzer
July 8th 2010



915 Comments


I've never heard of this band, but I'm going to check it out simply because there's a track titled after my name.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2010



6961 Comments


Not sure what to think of this. It has the potential to be depressing and shit but it doesn't grab me like it is supposed to.

Digging: Perfume Genius - Learning

JustJoe
June 12th 2011



1399 Comments


"Medicine Bottle" would have made an immaculate closer.

Digging: Stevie Wonder - Innervisions

Romulus
June 12th 2011



8373 Comments


need to listen to this

Psychopathologist
June 12th 2011



1924 Comments


you really do. rules

its like galaxie 500 but better

Romulus
June 12th 2011



8373 Comments


different from rhp I/rollercoaster/whatever?

Psychopathologist
June 12th 2011



1924 Comments


ive yet to listen to rollercoaster sorry cant help you out here

Romulus
June 12th 2011



8373 Comments


ah well i will give this a download anyway

Eskate87
October 3rd 2011



959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

cant get enough RHP in the fall. Japanese to English gets me every time.

DoubtGin
October 14th 2011



6686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

listening to this on flac

yea



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