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Ol' Paint

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Album Review

Ol' Paint's first and only album, released in 1971, suggests what might have happened if a tuneful country-rock band had heard Big Star's #1 Record and decided to try something similar. Of course, clever pop enthusiasts will recall that Big Star's debut didn't arrive until 1972, and while the utter obscurity of this album would make it unlikely that Alex Chilton and company took any cues from Ol' Paint, at the very least the two bands sound like kindred spirits of smart pop in an era when such things were in short supply. Ol' Paint had a pair of fine tunesmiths in lead vocalist Tony Caputo and guitarist Andy Mendelson, and both bring some fine melodies and full-bodied melodic hooks to the table, but unfortunately neither was an especially compelling lyricist (the pretentious "Victims of the Sex Revolution" is a cringe-worthy low point), and while Big Star clearly took their cues from the Beatles, there are a few moments on Ol' Paint where it's hard not to feel they'd been listening to more Emitt Rhodes than Paul McCartney (not a bad thing in and of itself). Brief flashes of prog rock also flow through Ol' Paint's formula, and "Up from the Sea" and "Mogitah" probably turned off any Beatles obsessives looking for something similarly tuneful in a world without Fabs. Despite the album's eccentricities and inconsistencies, Ol' Paint is a fascinating disc that's full of truly enjoyable stuff, and one can only imagine what became of these guys after their brief moment of record-making glory.


Genre: Rock

Years Active:

Merging country-rock, power pop, psychedelia, and progressive rock, Ol' Paint were an obscure band from Central New York State who later won a cult following for their sole album. Formed in Syracuse, NY in the late '60s, Ol' Paint featured Tony Caputo on lead vocals, Andy Mendelson on lead guitar and keyboards, Phil Zeppetello on rhythm guitar, John Bujak on bass, and Richard Mendelson on drums. The group scored a recording contract with GWP Records, a subsidiary of RCA Victor, and they cut their...
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Ol' Paint, Ol' Paint
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