Ultimate Painting | Local 506 | Clubs & Concerts | Indy Week
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Ultimate Painting

Photo by Juan Jose Ortiz

Ultimate Painting

Ultimate Painting 

When: Tue., Sept. 22, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: $10
LOCAL 506, CHAPEL HILL—Ultimate Painting is the result of an indie rock bromance. After spending years in overlapping British rock circles, Jack Cooper, of Mazes, and James Hoare, of dark and sharp indie pop group Veronica Falls, realized they had a shared interest. That bond had rather obvious roots, to be honest—The Beatles and The Velvet Underground.

Sure, it’s an era of grand eclecticism, when the world’s obscure records are available at the click of a finger and distinctions between the high and the low have been blurred. But times seem stranger still when ’60s rock archetypes of light and dark guitar-based pop, who’ve provided direct inspiration for more bands than any other groups in the history of the genre, count as interests novel enough to be useful in identifying kindred spirits. It’s all relative to your circles, right?

Neither Mazes nor Veronica Falls were incapable of scratching those same itches. Cooper’s Mazes are a guitar band built on ’90s fuzz, with some stray post-punk herky-jerk thrown in. Hoare’s Velvets kick was evident during many Veronica Falls songs. On the last album, they occasionally spit up White Light/White Heat venom. But Ultimate Painting’s debut was the janglier, chiller Loaded stuff. Green Lanes, Ultimate Painting’s second record, stretched to incorporate VU’s quieter self-titled third, with the faintest, most tasteful whiff of the Grateful Dead thrown in for good measure.

Like many bands that have drawn inspiration from Lou Reed’s discography, Ultimate Painting can’t match the authentic drag-club seediness or smack-addled grime of the original material. To their credit, they don’t pretend they can. In that way, they also recall large swaths of American college rock or Kiwi pop, where good students learn from songs rather than streets. Lacking the spark of originality doesn’t make the work unpleasant. If producing slightly skewed versions of the most time-tested sounds in the canon is one’s fondest wish, follow your bliss, kids. With The Charming Youngsters. 9 p.m., $10, 506 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-942-5506, www.local506.com. —Jeff Klingman
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