Roshan Bhatt" />
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Thursday, September 28, 2023


Ceilings’ a melodic debut

One of the best feelings is when an anticipated album surpasses expectations you had for the release. Although it doesn’t happen very often, it is always a rewarding experience.

Alive in Wild Paint is a melodic rock band from Phoenix, Ariz., that signed to Equal Vision not too long ago under the name Goodbye Tomorrow. In September, the band had a lineup change, and renamed itself Alive in Wild Paint, a name taken from Illusions, a poem by Richard Bach.

The group’s album, Ceilings, leads off with the title-track, a slow and somber piano ballad, which is overpowered by the vocal styling of Travis Bryant, who has former experience from the alternative-rock group Terminal, a Tyler, Texas band that had a short-lived career in 2005.

The guitar/piano combinations on this album are the biggest compliment to the vocals. Guitarist Matt Grabe and bassist David Roat also tag-teamed the programming duties on Ceilings, which flow smoothly and aid an easy listen.

Ceilings is a solid and cohesive album and listeners won’t find themselves skipping any songs. However, the lyrics tend to trail off at times, which is the biggest downfall. Lines such as "You want a car with a clean interior / I’ve been far but it’s never been serious," in "Ceilings," come off as irrelevant and awkward.

One disadvantage to having an album that stays on the mellower side of the musical spectrum is that it isn’t one that could be played at any time of the day. This album will definitely alienate the peppy and vibrant, despite the upbeat and catchier songs such as "Crystal Selves" and "Sleep With Your Soul In." The majority of Ceilings is comprised of ballads, with very few moments that hit hard.

Keeping these two songs in mind, it’s hard to shed comparisons between Alive in Wild Paint and Terminal, especially as a fan of Bryant’s old band. Both of these songs seem as if they would be the next step in the progression of what Terminal would have become, had the group stayed together.

One of the best moments on the album is easily the closing track, "A Vespertine Haunting," a brooding and eerie song the band recorded as Goodbye Tomorrow. The group re-recorded the song for Ceilings, with added instruments and arrangements, and an overall crisper, more refined sound.

With Mark Trombino behind the boards for Ceilings, one can only hope that he doesn’t subject the band to overproduction, seen on some of his previous works such as Finch’s What it is to Burn and Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American. However, Trombino did an outstanding job on this one, highlighting the band’s best assets.

Overall, Ceilings is an excellent record, a very strong debut and definitely one of the better of this year. Despite being signed to Equal Vision, a record label that is home to predominantly heavier acts, it looks as though the band is being marketed well. Fans of more mainstream acts such as Coldplay and Keane will not be disappointed with Alive in Wild Paint’s debut.

Ceilings was released on March 18 on Equal Vision Records.

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