Alive in Wild Paint
(Equal Vision Records)
Reviewed By: Naimah Holmes
A certain environment is being built within the songs that make up Alive in Wild Paint’s debut album, Ceilings: that of loss, faith, and maturity. Within the first seconds of the title track a story of two sides of desperation is told through the lyrics of Travis Bryant (vocals, guitar.) He sings of the need to save a lover (“I helped you out of your self and right back in.”) Later the object of his affections need to lose not only themselves, but the relationship itself (“You whisper soft if we’re lost. Don’t turn around. We’ll take our time to arrive.”) From a love lost to a reminder that fragility is the product of the mind in “Crystal Selves” explaining that boundaries are there for you to break through (“Sometimes some time is all it takes to change your mind. Aching the absence wondering were you’ve been.”). Determination can be found in the form of “ God Gave Me a Gun” and “Anxious Disease” tells of an inevitable breakup. “II” is the tale of an empty life hidden behind what the world wants to see as perfect (“When you take a bow the curtains close. They will applaud you for playing the role of a wretched child with a bleeding nose.). “Traffic” is the most haunting of all the tracks, with such delicate piano between Bryant’s elegantly emotive voice. “Sleep With Your Soul In” is where their rock influence can be found. Their musicianship shines bright with Matt Grabe (guitar/piano), David Roat (bass), and pounding away at the drums that give until the very end. In “Forecasting” a love becomes stale and one-sided in the way of affection (“How quickly he forgets that you exist. And he never comes alive quite the way you’d like. It keeps you where you are.”). “Everywhere, An Ocean” has Bryant reasoning with a choice to make peace, to settle or make the decision to abandon something he’s built to find some uncharted territory (“And it’s fear of what the sun would see beckoning me into.”) Suprisingly, or ironically, “Children of Divorce” is the most upbeat song on the album as the characters try to prove themselves they are reminded (“But they can’t take from you. Something inside you never knew.”). “Cold Spell” lingers as it tells of a transformation after the loss of something or someone you thought was all you wanted (“It’s a cold spell casting over everything we’ve felt. When there’s no one left to tell I keep it to myself.”). The hurtful remainders of a relationship, where the two who were never meant to make one is what can be heard on “ A Vespertine Haunting” (“I never meant to leave dear I just thought I would arrive. But it seems here I’m never quite alive.”)
It may take two listens to get the feel for this album. Lyrically this work is strong. At times the music itself seems to overpower what Bryant has to say. There are great stories told throughout the album and lessons to be learned by its conclusion.