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cover

Nothing Painted Blue

Taste The Flavor

Shrimper
CD $12.00

11/15/2005 759718114720 

shr 147 


Taste The Flavor, Nothing Painted Blue's sixth full-length, brings together the veteran Inland Empire trio for 13 songs that are louder, looser, and stranger than their previous reputation. Recorded at Tucson, Arizona's famed Wavelab by Craig Schumacher (Giant Sand, Calexico, Neko Case), most of the disc emphasizes performance and feel over elaborately overdubbed arrangements - opener "One Who Fell" and epic closer "Swansong" capture the band's confident interactions as well as any studio recording can. This is NPB's least restrained and most varied album, ranging from the touching pop ("Back in Town," with Schumacher's harmonica solo) and angular speedballs ("Emphasis") you'd expect, though a Stones-y riff-rocker ("A Longer Leash," complete with cowbell), and an acoustic dub excursion ("Dry Spell"). Frontman Franklin Bruno's sharp-witted lyrics and emotionally engaged vocals are still in place, but they're augmented by newfound guitar firepower, and tough, no-bullshit rhythm arrangements by drummer Kyle Brodie and bassist Peter Hughes.  Nothing Painted Blue can play fast and loose with the indie-rock rulebook - and even throw it out, when they like - because they helped write it. They've released albums and singles on several of key '90s labels - Scat/Matador, ShimmyDisc/KokoPop, Simple Machines, and current home Shrimper -- and have shared bills with everyone from Beck to Tortoise, from Beat Happening to The Jesus Lizard. Formed in 1987 by Upland High School buddies Bruno and Brodie, plus original bassist Mike Neelon, they released A Baby, A Blanket, A Packet of Seeds in 1990 on their own Jupa Records, followed by several seven-inches by themselves and their friends (WCKR SPGT, Refrigerator). Joey Burns (later of Calexico, and still NPB's Tucson connection) took over for Neelon in 1991, appearing on Power Trips Down Lovers' Lane, the band's best known album, and many of the singles ("Swivelchair," "Another Child Bride") collected on 1996's Emotional Discipline. Hughes succeeded Burns in1993; Mike Neelon returned briefly as lead guitarist for the band's previous album, The Monte Carlo Method, and a 1998 tour.  This is NPB's first major release since then - but they haven't been slackers in the interim. Franklin has released two discs of his solo work, with more on the way, as well as collaborations with The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle (The Extra Glenns' Martial Arts Weekend) and Tsunami's Jenny Toomey (Tempting). (Not to mention his recent book on Elvis Costello's Armed Forces in Continuum Books' popular "33 1/3" series.) Peter Hughes is also a full member of The Mountain Goats, touring extensively and performing on three acclaimed albums for 4AD (including this year's The Sunset Tree, on which Franklin also guests). Kyle is often part of Franklin's "solo" recordings and performances; he's also a new parent, and a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California.   Radio: AA Publicity: Track Star Media

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