In fusing together transplants of Terminal and Goodbye Tomorrow, Alive In Wild Paint's four members (frontman Travis Bryant, guitarist Matt Grabe, bassist David Roat, and drummer Austin Wilson) are certainly no strangers to the music industry. And while you might think this could grant carte blanche access to success in the biz, the band has faced plenty of adversity on the way to release their Equal Vision debut, Ceilings
. Whether it be roster shuffles, release date backpedaling, or even van theft, the guys still seem to have somehow come out stronger on the other side. "We're at a very good place, both musically and in our relationships with each other," says Roat. Through it all, the collective's strong work ethic and perseverance has prevailed, as David reminds us all, "You have to look at the big picture though, and have faith that your hard work and creativity will have some reward in the end."
So alas, while the turbulence leading up to the unveiling of Ceilings
might lend itself to a natural sort of anger or bitter undertone in the band's music, Alive In Wild Paint instead so coolly convey a disarming sort of tranquility. Centering around Bryant's breathy, angelic croon, the band weaves together a set of calming expressions that are the perfect tonic to relieve the stresses of everyday life. Whether it be in the dancing pizzicato of the record's title track, the subtle, minimalist instrumentation on "Traffic, or the haunting piano balladry of "Forecasting," Alive In Wild Paint skillfully prove they have a handle on the softer side of things. However, it is just as plain to see that the collective is far from a one-trick pony. Discussing the work as a whole, Roat explains, "Ceilings
is a very diverse record, and I think that's a big highlight of the album. It showcases our ability to demonstrate different sides of our songwriting." And this is exceedingly evident in kind - the lush drama of "Crystal Selves," the driving rock pulse of "Sleep With Your Soul In," the sweeping majesty of the re-imagined "A Vespertine Haunting," or a host of others. The end result is a record that is varied, yet cohesive - indeed the best of both worlds.
* Produced by Mark Trombino (Jimmy Eat World, Mineral, Rilo Kiley)
* Mixed by Michael Barbiero (Counting Crows, Maroon 5, Guns N Roses)
* Features former members of Terminal (Tooth & Nail Records) and Goodbye Tomorrow (Equal Vision Records)
Alive in Wild Paint's debut, Ceilings, brings together members of Goodbye Tomorrow and short lived Terminal (Other members of Terminal formed Oh, Sleeper), and is a much anticipated debut produced by Mark Trombino (most notably known for producing Jimmy Eat World's masterpiece, Clarity). There has been a lot of anticipation and hype for Ceilings. Does it deliver? Hell yes. But, it will take a little patience on your part.
First of all, I wasn't expecting such a laid back album. Maybe that's an unfair expectation, but because of this expectation, the first listen was a bit rough for me. I was waiting for it to kick in, and by the 7th track (Sleep With Your Soul In) we do get a little dose of rock. But, this is not a rock album. So, drop that from your expectations and let Ceilings sink in. (Although if your familiar with Terminal and Goodbye Tomorrow, this is a natural progression.)
Now that I had my first listen over and done with, I had to immediately listen a second time. Alive in Wild Paint have created an album of such intricacy that, like a good movie, needs to be appreciated over numerous visits. This is not made for fast consumption. Alive in Wild Paint's four members (frontman Travis Bryant, guitarist Matt Grabe, bassist David Roat, and drummer Austin Wilson) have taken the time and care to create numerous layers to each song and to this album. Travis Bryant's vocal are delicate and soothing, nothing is strained or rushed. Each song takes it's time and envelopes the listener in beautiful intricate melodies that, if given the right amount of time, will mold themselves permanently into your skull.
While not an immediately accessible album, Ceilings is an album that you need to take your time with. I'm not sure if today's mainstream culture has the patience for Alive in Wild Paint. We live in such a fast-food society when it comes to our entertainment, that I fear people may not get this album right away. I really hope I'm wrong, because Alive in Wild Paint's debut is a moving and brilliant piece of work.
Stand Out Tracks:
"Sleep With Your Soul In"
"Cold Spell" --IndieUprising.net
Alive in Wild Paint's debut has been eagerly anticipated for months now, especially considering that the band wowed fans back when they were called Goodbye Tomorrow. Having put out a three song EP that stood out thanks to its tight melodies and harmonic vocals, the band regrouped and changed their name and are now back with their debut album Ceilings. The result is some of the best down tempo indie rock in quite some time.
The vocals are extremely melodic, as one might expect from former Terminal vocalist Travis Bryant. Bryant's voice is warm and inviting, filled with melody that bridges gaps in between the instrumental arrangements. But at the same time, though his voice is higher pitched it is done in a beautiful rather than whiny way meaning that just about anyone should be able to get into Alive in Wild Paint's music. In addition to this, the lyrics are surprisingly insightful and true to life. Listen to a song such as "Children of Divorce" and it will be easy to see that this is a group with deeper messages than many of their genre mates.
Though sometimes album that stay minimalist and down tempo can become boring, Ceilings doesn't suffer from this problem. Many of its tracks start with just guitar work and slowly build into light indie rock songs. The instrumentalists have a knack for creating compositions that start off with just one or two instruments and climax with layered textures of sound that could rival many groups. If "Carousel" was the group's best work as Goodbye Tomorrow, as Alive in Wild Paint they have produced an album of Carousel's, with just about every track able to stand on its own.
I predicted great things for this band when they released their three song EP back in 2006. And though they've been through a name change and a minor lineup change, this prediction holds true. Ceilings is one of the first great indie rock releases of 2008, and hopefully this band will find the audience they've been waiting for with this exciting debut. --CosmosGaming.com