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Ol' Paint - Ol' Paint (CD)




Fall Out





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Original release 1971
Re-issue Fall Out Records

Ol' Paint's first and only album, released in 1971, suggests what might have happened if a tuneful country-rock band had heard Big Star's #1 Record and decided to try something similar. Of course, clever pop enthusiasts will recall that Big Star's debut didn't arrive until 1972, and while the utter obscurity of this album would make it unlikely that Alex Chilton and company took any cues from Ol' Paint, at the very least the two bands sound like kindred spirits of smart pop in an era when such things were in short supply. Ol' Paint had a pair of fine tunesmiths in lead vocalist Tony Caputo and guitarist Andy Mendelson, and both bring some fine melodies and full-bodied melodic hooks to the table, but unfortunately neither was an especially compelling lyricist (the pretentious Victims of the Sex Revolution is a cringe-worthy low point), and while Big Star clearly took their cues from the Beatles, there are a few moments on Ol' Paint where it's hard not to feel they'd been listening to more Emitt Rhodes than Paul McCartney (not a bad thing in and of itself). Brief flashes of prog rock also flow through Ol' Paint's formula, and Up from the Sea and Mogitah probably turned off any Beatles obsessives looking for something similarly tuneful in a world without Fabs. Despite the album's eccentricities and inconsistencies, Ol' Paint is a fascinating disc that's full of truly enjoyable stuff, and one can only imagine what became of these guys after their brief moment of record-making glory. ~ Mark Deming

This superb collection of psych-tinged power pop first appeared in 1971 and has languished in undeserved obscurity ever since. The band are thought to have come from New York, and display a clear Beatles influence, covering similar ground to that which Big Star would make its own a couple of years later. This is their only album, and it makes its long-overdue CD debut with this edition.

Personnel: Andy Mendelson (vocals, guitar, organ); Tony Caputo (vocals); Richard Mendelson (drums).