Paint Thinner provide a dynamic portrait of angst that draws you right in on their debut full-length, The Sea of Pulp, available now via ŌBLĒK. The band play an almost surprisingly varied brand of music, sitting somewhere between American noise rock like The Jesus Lizard and post-punk that evokes overseas connotations. They freely pull from a range of styles, crafting a brand of reserved punk that’s noisy in just the right ways and feels fresh. In their latest tracks, the band ultimately use that full sonic palette to paint an intriguing picture that takes the listener both up and down a mountain of intensity, and through the whole process, the listener easily wants to hear what comes next. The Sea of Pulp feels very intertwined with straight-up storytelling, which emerging in the midst of Paint Thinner’s musical cacophony, provides for a memorable picture.
At the same time, the music proves rather captivating on a base level. Repeatedly, the band turn to rather lengthy instrumental passages, letting the musical “anxiety” stand on its own and allowing for the listener to draw their own conclusions — including that it might even be time to move around. The fact that they’ve maintained striking melodic draws while crafting a sort of noisy soundscape and ultimately very experiential record should be commended.
There’s a very ethereal feel that permeates each element of the band’s music to the point of the songs feeling rather connected to an enveloping sense of “place.” The band are from Detroit, which is of course a rather large and bustling metropolis, and considering that, The Sea of Pulp feels like an attempt to craft some kind of order from the wreckage that the city and all that it stands for might wreak. There’s a personal emotional slant to the music, but it’s ultimately broader than that, as if they’re drawing from some of the same pools that sparked angry punk in the U.S. and overseas in recent decades and have simply been updated to correspond to the times. Thanks to the decades of familiarity with modern decadence and the like, the anger easily becomes something that simmers under the surface, and The Sea of Pulp provides a clear assessment of our place in that situation that turns the mess into something very interesting.
Listen below via Bandcamp