An excellent debut showcasing No Oil Painting’s folk, country, blues and rock influences.
‘Rain Season‘ is the debut album by No Oil Paintings, a highly regarded four-piece ‘alt-folk’ band from Belfast; Chris Kelly on lead vocals and guitar, twins Sean Doone on banjo, guitar and vocals and James Doone on bass and vocals, and George Sloan on drums and vocals. Self-recorded, mixed by Ben McAuley and mastered by Dan Coutant at Sunroom Audio, it consists of eleven songs that showcase their folk, country, blues and rock influences whilst each member of the band switch and share lead vocals, delivering their own style to the songs they bring to the table.
The musicianship from the four band members throughout is excellent. Opener ‘Rise‘ grabs the listener’s attention with its opening unaccompanied four-part harmony singing; there’s a real country feel on the fast-moving and catchy ‘Leave Me My Name‘; whilst the bluesy, stomping ‘What Good Does It Do?‘ features the powerful, aggressive vocals of Kelly, who describes the song as, “a personal admission of the futility of one’s own anger and frustration; an enraged and impassioned plea for better temperament, delivered sonically with a fury equal to that which the song’s lyrics portray”. The title track, which closes the album, along with the six-minute-long ‘World Turns‘, and ‘God Only Knows‘ (not a cover!) are also real highlights; all banjo-led, full of vocal harmonies, slow-paced and hauntingly beautiful.
No Oil Painting’s proudest creative achievement to date has been collaborating with Grammy award winner Joss Stone during her world tour; the band were chosen to be accompanied by Joss on ‘God Only Knows‘, a collaboration that was recorded and videoed live and has received over 300,000 views online. This will now be eclipsed by the release of Rain Season, a debut of which they should be hugely proud.