Urban Folk Tales (Independent)

Folk bands should not play funk. For proof, check out "Flygroove" and "White Sheep", a couple of back-to-back firewalls on Paint's Urban Folk Tales that could prevent some listeners from making it past the third track. But on other songs, like the soulful shuffle "Death Row" and the rueful opener "Fifteen", the band conjures up a perfectly pleasant, dusky-summer vibe with well-placed cello, warm backup vocals, and laid-back acoustic grooves. Just when you're opening that second bottle of wine, however, the group returns to Uplift Mofo Party Plan mode with "Girlie Boy" and "The Write Thing", and skipping to the next track seems like the only reasonable recourse.

Then again, what do I know? The bio states the band is "challenging the conventions of modern music by throwing all of the paint at the canvas, Jackson Pollack[sic]-style," and I never did understand that newfangled art stuff. It's quite possible someone else might listen to Urban Folk Tales and say, "Hey, this is all right: these funky tunes sound like an American abstract artist fronting the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But this folk stuff is for the birds."