The Red Paintings - Db Magazine

Uni Bar (Adelaide) - October 20, 2006
I’d also heard great things about Brisbane’s The Red Paintings, but having missed them on their previous trips to Adelaide, I wasn’t prepared for the elaborateness of their set. Apparently the band’s gear had been stolen that day. Even worse for them, this wasn’t the first time it happened in Adelaide. Even in the absence of normal elements of their show, such as their regular onstage painting sessions, the band put on a visual and aural feast. I personally heard touches of A Perfect Circle and Placebo, but comparisons like that are simplistic - The Red Paintings really are a unique experience all of their own. Alas, it was all over before it really seemed to kick in. I wanted to hear more. Powerful rhythms, emotive vocals and expressive strings easily impressed the audience, playing in front of a capacity audience. And they weren’t even the main act.Eddie Chan

The Red Paintings - Minnesota Daily News

First Avenue - October 18, 2006
Indie Aussies The Red Paintings were recently invited to join the Dresden Dolls on their tour of Australia and New Zealand and are now (fortunately for stateside music heads) accompanying them on their U.S. fall tour as well. The Paintings brought a sci-fi aesthetic to their driving guitar and drum sound (a bit like Ladytron meets REM, only harder), and then tempered it with the elegance of violin and cello (sans cellist this tour). Then they added sugar on top with their geisha-meets-alien attire and humans-as-canvas cohorts (volunteers’ bodies were painted to the music while film clips of explosions and UFOs were projected behind them). It was an apt panorama for the songs from their latest recording, Destroy the Robots. Before the set closed, Dresden Dolls drum god Brian Viglione added his guitar to their fittingly brazen cover of the Sex Pistol’s “God Save the Queen”...Before ending a soon-to-be legendary First Avenue main room show, the dolls were joined onstage by Trash McSweeny of The Red Paintings for a passionate rendition of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.” Ah, the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd.

The Red Paintings - Faster Louder

Roundhouse (Sydney) - October 09, 2006
Shortly after, The Red Paintings deliver an audio-visual rock assault. While apocalyptic imagery attacks the eye, and several painters attack either traditional canvas or more improvised human versions, the garishly outfitted Trash McSweeney and his geisha-styled colleagues rip through a spine-tingling set underpinned by the primal bass of Amanda Holmes and Andy Davis’s tight drumming. ‘Dead Children’ and ‘Dead Adults’ are yin-yang perfection of intensity then quietness while ‘The Revolution is Never Coming’ enjoys its own mid-song mini sing-along while Trash thrashes around the stage manically. They conclude with Trash mesmerising (perhaps literally) with a fist-sized pocket watch as cellist Wayne Jennings screams the Alice-in-Wonderland intro to ‘Streets Came in Through my Window’. Surreal stuff.Provocative as ever, The Red Paintings should stir up US & English audiences on their forthcoming tour supporting The Dresden Dolls.

The Red Paintings - Sydney Herald Review (Sony/Bmg)

‘Walls’ - July 08, 2006
The Red Paintings will take you to Wonderland and back with their psychedelic rock.
Flamboyance and artistic ambition aren’t a problem for this Brisbane five-piece. Big ideas, big sounds, quirks that could turn into full-blown eccentricities and the temptation to overreach are the order of the day. Live, they have a reputation for outrageous costumes, theatrical side plays and galloping enthusiasm. You can sense all of this in the seven songs of this EP. The title track, which opens the show, edges into the room with violin and a slow drum roll. Yet before the first minute is over, those drums are rattling and the guitar is chasing them down, while singer Trash McSweeney vaults over it all.That’s merely a taster for The Streets Fell into My Window, which starts with a precisely enunciated reading from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and then builds a threatening mood that periodically explodes in the kind of heavy bursts you might find on a System of a Down album.This is psychedelia the way it’s meant to be: not trippy-dippy and “wow, look, the sky is orange”, but cascading elements of power and whimsy treated equally. A place where an orchestra, classical guitar and pirate-ship analogies appear in a song about losing hope when families fracture. Where a sample-driven track such as Signals from the Frontier starts to sound like incipient madness in space. Where no emotion is left to walk unaided. It’s why Walls fits neatly on the shelf next to recent hyper-dramatic releases by the likes of the Decemberists and Arcade Fire, providing a flair for the florid that is all too easily washed away by fear in so many other bands. That would be fear of failing, but also fear of looking foolish, which is a bigger killer of art. There’s no fear here.By Bernard Zuel - Sydney Morning Herald

The Red Paintings - Mess & Noise Magazine Review

‘Destroy The Robots’ - July 01, 2006
Having gained a reputation as one of Australia’s most eclectic live bands, Brisbane’s The Red Paintings latest offering does nothing to harm their reputation. While the man/machine themes might stray a little close to Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Trash McSweeney’s outfit have produced an EP full of riffs and big choruses you’ll be humming while you rewire your toaster into a pacemaker. The production is lush and adds a sense of weight to the driving guitars while strings slither their way through the mix creating a tension between the futuristic themes and the music carrying them. The unpredictable arrangements continually breathe life into the songs, tugging the listener between the subtle breakdowns of strings and toms and the wall of sound choruses. The title track builds over a violin and cello theme before exploding out of the speakers like homemade cluster bombs wired together while listening to Muse, with the energy levels remaining on overload throughout the EPToby Dundas

The Red Paintings - Sputnik Review

Walls - June 28, 2006
The Red Paintings are a five piece, Australian arthouse Rock group. They are building quite a stong reputation with their EP’s, and incredibly theatrical live shows. I’ve never seen, or heard, of anything like them on stage before. Walls is their 6th release, and is what I believe to be their best.

Walls opens the EP wonderfully. The intro is sad, and helps to set the mood of the EP. The song is probably the most upbeat on the EP, thanks to the verse/chorus, but it also has a great little bridge. I love the violin throughout it.

The Streets Fell Into My Window is a pretty crazy song. It opens with a narrated reading from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Before long, a tribal sounding drum beat kicks in, along with swirling background and the reading becomes similiar to that of a madman. The song flows steadily, keeping the a drum & bass rythm throughout the verses, and a Red Paintings style distorted chorus. The end of the song is cool, with Trash pulling off some cool effects on the guitar, and “the strings go nuts”.

Dead Adults is the successor to Dead Children. It’s a slow building song, with some cool delay effects throughout the first half of the song. The violin is fingerpicked throughout that time. After two and a half minutes the song becomes a little more exciting. What feels like a long procession of palm muted power chords rises to the songs climax, before eventually calming to a long outro.

Mad World, originally written by Tears For Fears, and later covered by Gary Jules, now undergoes more changes. I honestly believe this is the best version of the song I’ve heard. Tears For Fears wrote it like an 80’s pop song, Gary Jules brought out some of the sadness about it, but The Red Paintings have outshined him here. The acoustic chords blend perfectly with the chello and violin, and Trash’s vocals are brilliant. The song just seems to have a lot more feeling than any of the prior versions.

Portrait Of A Dead Soul sounds pretty cool. The song structure changes every minute or so, so it doesn’t get tiresome. The vocals, strings and guitar dominate this track, with a distinct lack of Drums and Bass, something the band seems to do often. Nice easy listen really.

Walls (Alternative Ending) is pretty much what the title says. It’s Walls, but the ending is extended with a continuation the last a minute or so longer than the first version.

Signals From The Frontier is a rather alien sounding track. It reminds of Radioheads No Suprises a little. It begins with plenty of spacey effects and a radio transmission describing the solar system. It continues as so, but just gets a little weirder as it procedes. It also has an annoying buzzing sound throughout the track.

Overall - The EP is pretty darn good. If your looking for something thats going to impress you with technical ability, don’t bother. However, if your looking for an excellent easy listen, and are a sucker for the Violin, pick it up. Every song is very listenable, with the first 5 tracks being outstanding. Four stars.G, Macintosh. (

The Red Paintings - Drum Magazine

Bar Broadway (Sydney) - June 01, 2006
I’m tempted to describe this band as an “acquired taste”, but I might get arrested for impersonating other music journo’s, (or a schizophrenic food critic). So I’ll just say The Red Paintings, from Brisbane, do take a little time to digest, and one may be forgiven for thinking they were from a country, or planet, that we never knew existed. Their music is different, but fascinating all the same. Donning heavy make-up, Kimonos, wigs, robot appendages, and blasting out a feast of guitar, violin, cello, bass & drums, The Red Paintings can be hard to take in all at once. They slowly drag you away from the bar, lure you in, and slam the door behind you. Their haunting lyrics and arrangements play games with your head until Stockholm Syndrome finally creeps in. I couldnt blink, let alone tap my feet. By the encore I was totally fucking mesmerised.

These guys could have told me to have sex with the cigarette machine, and i would have, transformed out of all recognition. And then a glorius chorus (i think it was a chorus?) springs out of nowhere, opens the curtains and lets the light pour in! That split second at a live show where you become so overwhelmed with inspiration you wouldnt wish for anything else in the world, totally consumed in the moment. After an epic outro had finished dangling me around like a puppet, I eventually took control of my own legs, and walked outside with the highest regard for The Red Paintings. One of those spooky experiences when you can’t quite figure out what just happened to you, and why you can’t stop smiling.

I checked my body for strange marks and felt for any signs of probing, then looked up at the stars wondering who or what put me here. It may take a good listen, but I highly recommend you sit in a dark corner, and let The Red Paintings take control for a while.

The Red Paintings - Eleven Magazine

Brass Monkey - October 29, 2005
The Red Paintings are a breath of fresh air. There’s a lot of good music out there in the indie scene, but most of it is ‘loose’ guitar rock, to be very general about it. The Red Paintings dare to be different , which opens them up to criticism and kicks those same critic’s arse, when these independent souls find a following. It’s fine to be different, but it’s great to be good. And The Red Paintings are very good indeed. Trash McSweeney is lead vocalist, guitarist and major songwriter and he’s a legend. He was clad on this night in pyjamas and dressing gown, and he led the orchestral rock ensemble magnificently. Although this was a toned down set, with acoustic guitar and no drums, the music lost no power and the band still dressed up in their traditional Japanese outfits and had intriguing black and white films playing behind them. One of which was of the ‘alien autopsy’ at Roswell in 1947. Excellent. For me the highlights of the set were the song Dead Children and their absolutely stupendous cover of the Tears for Fears track, Mad World. Both sent shivers up the spine.

A special mention must go to the girl who paints a picture as the band plays. She sets up facing the band, right down the front. Her finished piece was beautiful, so was the music, ah...Ben Woods

The Red Paintings Mark Ryden In Wonderland Show- Rave Magazine

The Globe - September 24, 2005
The Red Paintings are fucking amazing. Their drums, bass, guitar, cello and violin line-up is different in itself, but combine the dramatic rock and elegant strings with powerful elements of stage theatre, and you've got absolute magic unfolding to their empowering or-chestration. The show is themed on American art-ist Mark Ryden; the band are dressed up as characters with stage props from his paintings, there are people painting canvas and human flesh. There's so much going on it could all very easily turn into a debacle, but under the guide of charm-ing frontman Trash McSweeney (who looks disturbingly pretty as a princess) the focus is on the music. Classily turning imagination to reality, The Red Paintings are genius.Jade Pham

The Red Paintings - Tsunami Mag Review (Sony/Bmg)

‘Walls’ - June 01, 2005
My first Red Paintings experience was at the Valley Fiesta, where just like every one else in the audience, I was hypnotized by the emotion not only in the music but in their art. Dressed as Geisha outfits and alien suits the band is well known for their out there performances while the music is a mish mash of psychedelic/rock/art/orchestral. The Red Paintings are like no other band on the planet. Like a highly contagious disease, their sound moves through your body fast, leaving you addicted and not only wanting, but needing more. If you haven't experienced The Red Paintings yet, I suggest you have a listen to their new cd “walls” and discover what everyone is talking about.

The Red Paintings - ‘ Mixdown Review

Walls’ - June 01, 2005
Titled Walls, the latest EP from Brisbane experimental art rock act The Red Paintings is nothing short of an amazing postmodern multicultural artistic masterpiece. With 7 tracks. the EP seems to provide a form of social commentary that is brought forward by a mind-blowing and elaborate arrangement, including the interesting use of a string ensemble and delay. Perhaps the most intriguing track is The Streets Fell Into My Window, which references Alice in Wonderland but is actually rumoured to be a song about the recent tsunami disaster.Available in all stores through Sony/BMG you must catch The Red Paintings live around Australia during the month of June.

The Red Paintings - Scene Magazine

‘Walls’ Ep Review - May 25, 2005
For those of you already familiar with The Red Paintings, chances are you have already made up your mind about whether ths new 7 track EP is of any interest to you. The diverse orchestral Sci-Fi Art Rockers, led by Trash Mcsweeney, have crafted a unique vision of anguish which can go from light and orchestral to plain manic at the bat of an eyelid. Excellently executed “Walls” paints a deranged picture which features cellos, loud guitars and vocals so pepetually angsty, they manage to make Ian Curtis sound like Jack Johnson. Divisiveness aside. Its reassuring that theres a band with a vision this unique lurking in our humble cities.Yuri - Koskov-Koskov

The Red Paintings - Alice In Wonderland Show (with The Follow & Seaplane) Tsunami Magazine

The Zoo - January 27, 2005
The Red Paintings’ Alice in Wonderland party got of to the solid start with Seaplane and The Follow, but it quickly became obvious that the growing, eager crowd was there to witness The Red Paintings. This gig happened to be the last full stage show before the band heads to China and Hong Kong, where they will take their unique brand of music overseas for the first time. The show kicked off in character, and whilst their Chellist narrated the beginning of Alice in Wonderland, lead singer trash emerged from a model doll house and the band quickly jumped into a musical and artistic enlightenment. TRP delivered another of their trademark shows, fit with haunting lighting, disturbing paintings and the band’s apocalyptic sound; resonating themes of death despair and betrayal mixed with both sci-fi and down-to-eart premises. Between songs Trash spoilt his audience with prizes and edible treats, and further entertained them with tales of their BDO (including bass player Bo’s activities at the after party). The highlight of the night has to be their cover of Gary Jules’ ‘Mad World’, complete with TRP’s unique tinge and complete audience participation.Nate Shea

Big Day Out 05 (Gold Coast) - Tsunami Magazine Review

The Red Paintings - January 23, 2005
“...Sporting an opp shop monstrosity of a dress and pausing to be painted halfway through his set, The Red Paintings mastermind Trash was quite obliviously put of his mind and went impressively beserk. Loving life on the Green stage, The Red Paintings concluded their Nirvana - on - acid - with - strings performance by smashing a painting and hurling china dolls into the audience...”

Big Day Out 05 (Gold Coast) - Timeoff Magazine

The Red Paintings - January 23, 2005
The Red Paintings open the Green stage, bravely combating the heat in full costume, but, as always, delivering an imaginative and unfettered psychedelic/orchestral/art/rock performance. Sometimes they verge a little too far into histrionics, but it’s great to see a band sticking their necks out and doing something really creative and challenging.

The Red Paintings - Rave Magazine

‘Your Tears Are Warning Signs’ Album Review - October 01, 2004
Cry me a river, Like a Virgin Mary

The Red Paintings have always done things a little differently. Their live shows aim and succeed at being bigger, bolder and riskier than what other local bands even contemplate. And with this new album, the boldness and the risks keep coming. The 11 songs here were all recorded live for a 4zzz session a few months ago with a stripped down version of the band. Absent are the drums, bass and all the epic rock theatrics and in their place are cello, violin and main man Trash McSweeney playing acoustic guitar and singing. Presented in this strings format, the songs are as equally impressive as in their usual explosive live incarnations. Seeing and hearing them as just bare bones reveals the strength and originality of the song writing and the talent and beauty in the playing.Their recent single Rain should have been a huge smash hit and the acoustic version here is a true highlight alongside other great darkly melodic treats like Dead Children, Stackhat, Cinema Love and The Cancer Song. The Red Paintings sing that The Revolution Is Never Coming but let’s hope that their musical revolution comes soon. They’re a band who deserve to have their risk rewarded.

The Red Paintings - Timeoff Magazine

The Rev (Album Launch) - September 23, 2004
You don’t just go to a Red Paintings gig, you enter their inter-planetary world. welcome to the art gallery, here’s some sushi, the performance will start soon, dont the alien visuals freak you out. When the rock began, The Red Paintings unleashed their album load of great tracks in brilliant but dark brush strokes. Each song was played with a determined passion swinging emotionally from frenzy to beauty and back again. As gorgeous as the geisha girls were, they couldnt compete with the lead singers mid-song costume change into a ball gown and horse mask. Its art baby.Jacqueline Young

The Valley Fiesta (Brisbane) - Rave Magazine

The Red Paintings - August 09, 2004
“.....with darkness down, The Red Paintings shined the light for innovative rock with a stunning multi-textual performance. They were easily the most original impressive band of the fiesta. By now the street had flooded with a solid sea over 10,000 bodies going nuts for the Hiltop Hoods. As hundreds clambered on top of any vantage point, thousands in the nose bleed section up the back settled for just hearing the beats....” (etc)Zac Black & Jackson Young

Livid Festival 04 - Rave Magazine

The Zoo - March 01, 2004
... The Red Paintings opened proceedings on the Zoo stage with an energetic, somewhat confronting set. Flanked by a violinist and bass player dressed like China Dolls (!!!) the lead singer/guitarist put in a manic, ferocious performance, screaming like he was the resurrection of Kurt Cobain one minute, flailing his guitar mercilessly the next. Behind the band two artists painted a lovely picture on a canvas, oblivious to the mayhem. Though The Red Paintings work better in a night time environment, this was still an unusual, powerful beginning to the day.Brett Collingwood

The Red Paintings Children Benefit - Tsunami Magazine

The Zoo - August 14, 2003
Arriving midway through DJ Turdmastershites set, we experiened a very creative DJ who spun some great tunes as the lights dimmed and The Red Paintings set began. A white light appeared with projections of a boy being followed by a red balloon and a screen appeared at the front of the stage, silhouetting lead vocalist/ guitarist Trash McSweeney, who, dressed as a china doll, was singing and playing a sequencer with a female cellist behind him. I looked around me and people were spell bound. Then the rest of the band came on the whole stage came alive. 7 painters appeared from the back of the stage, painting in front of the band against backdrop visuals of time warps, UFO’s and Scott & Sharlene. Theatrics, art, seizures, bodypaint and poewrful, amazing song; I read somewhere that these guys had found a new genre of music - sci fi orchestrated art rock - I’m convinced it’s true. All proceeds from this show went to the Royal Children’s Hospital.Justin Mclean

The Sleep Jackson/The Red Paintings - Tsunami Magazine

The Zoo - July 17, 2003
If ever there were two bands suited to play the graffiti n’ postered confines of The Zoo, this was them.

The Red Paintings are up from Melbourne to paint Brisbane red, and this they did. Imagine if you will, a angst-flavoured, out-there rock group fronted by bottle green dress- wearing eccentric Trash Mcsweeney, flanked by a be-gladiator costumed bassist, a kit drummer and from the left-field, beautifully poised cellist Catherine. Combining elements of alternative rock, conservatorium technique, and footie culture, this is a band that like to dress up, who musically purge themselves on stage and who are visually striking, avant-garde even, complete with live painters. The Red Paintings are a band you have to see, hear and feel to believe.

Ah, the Sleepies. I’ve been in love with Lovers (their new album) since its very release, so to hear the full on delicious, three part falsetto male harmonies, beatles-flavoured jangle-jams and beautiful prose-laden songs live was a real treat. They served to frame Mr Steele, who smack bang in the middle, pulled every rock move known to man, Going over the top experimental in one instance, cutting into his strings with a knife and fork, which was up there with the Mercury rev saw and bow. Steele reminded me of a child on red cordial, and despite a minor tech-tantrum (which saw the sessation of music for a good 10 minutes), his genius was tangible.

Kudos to the lovely Grant for finding my lens cap x.Skye

The Red Paintings Halloween Show - Forte Magazine

The Nash (Geelong) - October 31, 2002
I arrived at the Nash, and realized oh shit I forgot my costume, but I look like a freak anyway so I fitted in quite well. Its been a while since id seen The Red Painting’s live, I was quite blown away when seeing the act for the first time , I never heard anything like these guys before and after tonight’s show I realize just how special this band really is, just truly amazing.
Anyway the night went like this..........

I walked into the groove room some time after 12 with the support band closing up there set, they sounded not so nice to my ears and the room was quite empty. All the punters were lining up outside and seemed to be waiting for TRP to hit the stage.

The show started around 1am, and the room started filling up, TRP started with this strange light show, and movie projector of live executions, I knew then that this was going to be one very creative night, the members came out in there Halloween costumes to the music of the ‘ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW”, very funny, then the start of Seeds, the violin takes hold of your heart and lifts you to another place, wow the energy that comes out of these songs truly blows you away, people were in awe. Through the set there were some of the most amazing visuals I have ever seen, then after Angel Flummox Jesus appeared on a cross, and everyone stopped, just complete silence in the room, then crazy boy (TRP lead Vocalist) started a song called Hong Kong oh boy, such a powerful song, and oh so true.

The vocals, guitar and violin unite so well I can’t imagine The Red Paintings with out either 2. Great to see the bands new drummer, he’s slotted in quite well.

Then the next thing I know, there’s a girl eating the Halloween pumpkins and spitting the pumpkin pieces over the band and on to the crowd, crazy. I’ve heard these guys quote their genre of music as “Orchestrated Sci-fi Art rock” and I agree, it’s a perfect description. If that’s the goal of this composition then there headed in the right direction.

Where do they get all those crazy sounds from, I’d love to know? It’s like the sci-fi sounds paint there own picture in your mind. Oh, I mustn’t forget the band had a painter beside them painting the music on canvas, what the? Like I said earlier, I was in for a very creative night.

The band finished with a new song I believe called I’ll pay for your silence. What a song! What’s so good about this band is that every song they play sounds so different. No two seem the same, truly an original act that seem to stand out from the others, they stand for something real.

Why these guys are not playing in our summer Festivals stumps me, or maybe I shouldn’t speak so soon..?

So the band finishes in true Red Paintings style with the aliens running around as a backdrop on stage, the room was still full off punters, but unlike any other gig I’ve been too, everyone one was so uplifted, there was such a positive energy in the room, people hugging one another, just being on the same level, it felt great.

Thank you, The Red Paintings, for a Halloween night I will never forget, and to all lovers of original music if u hasn’t seen The Red Paintings, then you are missing out on a pure experience....
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