Unwelcome Guests - The Painter [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Unwelcome Guests

The Painter [7 inch] (2008)

Art of the Underground / Dirt Cult / Feral Kid

Unwelcome Guests quickly follow their split 7" with Orphan Choir with this four-song 7" dubbed The Painter.

It's generally more of the same riffy Replacements/mid-era Weakerthans/Plan-It-X mashup punk, with a healthy amount of exuberance and energy yet with vocals that somehow sound youthful yet have a certain maturity and slight world-weariness about them.

There's a very analytical tone about the songs, though they keep an upbeat feel intact. "Put Down Your Gun" draws plenty of simile ("Your emotions are like a firework / A big explosion and then they're gone") and metaphor ("I fear this world, it will break you / It will crush you with all of its weight"), while "Everywhere We Go" shifts from optimism in the narrator's self-criticized love life ("We both see we're no good for each other / But I'd like to give it a try") to bigger hopes and dreams ("All I ever wanted was a simple life / Now I have an idea what that might be").

I think I prefer the split material to this a bit, but the closing title track is really well-done and gives some good lyrical/musical contrast. Overall, The Painter seems to be missing some musically emotional depth to match its tone, and even brief moments like such would provide a better dynamic in that sense. Still, not bad stuff whatsoever.

The Painter