Like Mark Eitzel of American Music Club , to whose work the Painters were invariably compared and to whom their early success owed a tremendous debt, Kozelek laid his soul bare on record, conjuring harrowingly acute tales of pain, despair, and loss; unlike Eitzel , Nick Drake , and other poets of decay, Kozelek 's autobiographical songs walked their tightrope without a net -- forsaking the safety offered by metaphor and allegory, he faced his demons in the first person, creating a singularly haunting body of work unparalleled in its vulnerability and honesty.
Kozelek was born and raised in the Midwest, and formed his first band, God Forbid, while in his teens. A move to San Francisco followed, where guitarist Gorden Mack and bassist Jerry Vessel rounded out the group's roster. Reviews Music. Stephen Thompson. Once it was finally released, reviews were generally very positive.
Alternative Press gave the album a perfect 5 out 5 rating, praising its "timeless beauty. Many regard Old Ramon as a more lighthearted, optimistic recording than previous Red House Painters releases. Old Ramon sat in limbo and grew into legend as another great, lost album only the privileged few would ever properly hear.
Singer Mark Kozelek kept busy with a series of other projects. As it stands, the label needs Kozelek as much as he needs them -- after a few years' worth of disappointing releases from garage rock revivalists, Old Ramon breaks Sub Pop's losing streak.
Ironically, the album's long-delayed release only makes its joyous sound that much more refreshing; its inviting mix of gentle and fuzzy guitars and Kozelek 's empathetic vocals make it the Painters ' most hopeful, accessible work. Though one of Old Ramon 's finest songs, "Find Me, Reuben Olivares," ended up on the Shanti Project Collection , the remaining ten songs are first-rate expressions of Kozelek 's thoughtful songcraft and guitar work.
Beginning with "Wop-A-Din-Din," a chiming, charming tribute to Kozelek 's cat, the album signals a lighter, freer approach than one might expect from the often-brooding Painters. Even slow, wistful numbers like "Smokey," "Cruiser," and "Void" -- whose title suggests a harrowing, soul-searching song like Down Colorful Hill 's "24" -- sound downright sunny in comparison to Kozelek 's early work. Though Old Ramon keeps the polish of later Red House Painters albums like Songs for a Blue Guitar , the album has an added immediacy and vitality, particularly on surprisingly poppy tracks like "Byrd Joel," a winning blend of folk and fuzz, and "Between Days," which features some of the most luscious-sounding guitars ever heard on a Red House Painters song.
Digging: Joris Voorn - Balance Writing reviews this amazing makes you a homosexual, just saying. Album Rating: 4. Album Rating: 1. Red House Painters Old Ramon 4. Review Summary: An overlooked gem.Oct 18, · Old Ramon suggests that the same rule may be applied to tragedy. Kozelek's brand of memetic melancholy is as unrelenting as ever on the final album released under the Red House Painters moniker (although this is essentially a solo outing). All but three of the songs here stretch beyond the six minute mark, and none are in a hurry to finish/5(33).