Pedrum Siadatian plays lead guitar and sings in Allah-Las and this is the first release from his solo project, Paint, though he ropes bandmate Matthew Correia and Nick Murray, he of Oh Sees and White Fence fame, on drums. It’s out on Mexican Summer, too, who’ve recently celebrated a decade in the bizz.
Siadatian cuts a somewhat enigmatic figure, fond of shades (aviators, oval- shaped, gold-rimmed or acetate wayfarer style) and cowboy hats, and seems unconcerned about providing disquisitions on his influences, the ‘necessity’ of making this record or his ambitions, what lies ahead.
So, what does ‘Paint’ sound like? In part like a tape fallen out of a mass of unflattering formal clothes at the back of your dad’s wardrobe. It’s L.A. in the 80s and you’re trying them on for prom. Your dad used to be cool. Like an old vinyl rip on YouTube that’s inexplicably racked up a lot of views. Like Allah-Las too. A bit like Syd Barrett and Kevin Ayers, two names which have cropped up. And there’s, of course, an affinity with obscurities and outsider artists beloved by magpieish record shop employees (Siadatian met the others in Allah-Las while working at Amoeba).
‘Daily Gazette’ is its centrepiece, a warm single of which one especially shrewd commenter said the following: “like Lou Reed with iPhone Xs.” These similes are getting out of control...!
Songs like ‘Plastic Dreams’ and ‘Moldy Man’ are swimming in psych tropes, with reverse effects on the former and lashings of organ and woozy bends. ‘Silver Streaks’ is shockingly anachronistic but was probably recorded with tongue lodged firmly in cheek. By virtue of this jokiness and the way it was recorded, initially, at least, on a four-track, it might invite a few R. Stevie Moore comparisons. The same could be said of ‘Splattered’, but they’re not tracks you’d be itching to hear again. The unfinished, sketchy quality running through these 12 songs is at once charming and a little irritating. Is Siadatian a slacker? Maybe. But there are moments of real focus.
With a bit more variety comes much more interest: the fuzziness of ‘True Love (Is Hard to Find’), the wonky shifts of ‘Just Passin Thru’’, the throbbing insistence of ‘I Didn’t Know a Thing’. ‘Heaven In Farsi’ segues from old-timey guitar to a warped take on elevator music and ‘Wash’ is pervaded by a nice, ‘I Go to Sleep’-ish melancholy.
There you have it: ‘Paint’ is an unassuming, woolly assemblage of garagey, psychy pop nuggets.
Words: Wilf Skinner
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