Sullen - Paint the Moon (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Paint the Moon (2003)


If Scott Lucas from Local H thinks your band rocks like Slayer, the odds are good that you've got something going for you. In the case of St. Louis' Sullen, it certainly does ring true. A male/female vocal combo leads this trio that absolutely blows any competition out of the water. The take the Midwestern tradition of ball out rock and create an album, "Paint the Moon," that Thick Records should be proud to add to its catalog.

The switching off of vocals between Justin and Shanna adds a sexy vibe to their sound which is reminiscent of Sonic Youth. Shanna's shouts and screams draw comparison to Courtney Love circa Live Through this, only without the pretentiousness that makes Love so easy to despise. Shanna cuts through the listener like a knife on tracks such as "All Fall Down" shouting out that she doesn't want to be seen anywhere with you. Justin and Shanna's vocals compliment each other perfectly and mesh with their hard hitting unpolished sound. It's rough around the edges, which is what makes it so exceptional.

The power chords and catchy riffs keep this album accessible and slightly less harsh. This is exactly what rock was meant to sound like. Songs such as "Lilita" go hard from start to finish. This disc never slows down. The drums pound constantly. The grittiness of the vocals rips the listener to shreds.

Take the sexiness of Liz Phair and Veruca Salt; add in the rock with pop sensibility of bands like Local H and the late, great Triplefastaction and you have this stunning debut from Sullen. If their live shows are anywhere near as intense as their albums, Sullen should absolutely blow up.