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Paint the Moon

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Album Review

Paint the Moon is the full-length debut of Sullen, a St. Louis power trio built around the twin guitars/vocals of Justin Slazinik and Shanna Kiel. It includes new material, as well as re-recorded versions of songs that originally appeared on the band's early demos and cassette releases. While Sullen has rage to spare and has mastered the quiet/loud, female/male dynamic, the band's influences bleed through the fabric on most tracks. At times, Slazinik sounds even more like Courtney Love than Kiel, who spends most of her time on the mike copping either the erstwhile Mrs. Cobain or Kim Gordon. Sonic Youth is a definite sonic influence, as well; to its credit, Sullen infuses the latter influence into its own blue-collar, slash-and-burn songwriting. "Boys Are Worse," "Girls Are Gross," and "Gene Pool" force the triangular shapes of EVOL's midsection into sleazy, three-minute squares of punk rock. "Mothra" is a respectable nod to My Bloody Valentine, while the upbeat "Lilita" gives Kiel a brief chance to actually sing before twisting the dial to "scream" level, where it stays for most of the album. While Sullen's influences lay a heavy hand on the neck of Paint the Moon, strong performances from both Kiel and Slazinik — however derivative — eventually save this ambitious debut from being a simple retread. "No Sleep" stands out with a combat-ready riff that drags and leaps through overdriven solos, only to lock in place just as the two singers' voices clash on the gritty harmonies of the chorus. The production and mixing work of Andy Gerber (Local H, Caviar) at Chicago's Million Yen also deserves credit for helping Sullen outpace its record collection just enough to make a statement.

Customer Reviews

These guys (and girl) ROCK!!!

I first heard the female singer of this band in a Local H song, "5th Ave. Crazy". I loved the female singer's voice so much that I looked up who was featured on the track, and it was Shanna from Sullen. I searched iTunes for Sullen, bought the whole album, and loved it. Great lyrics, great guitar riffs. I don't know how to specifically classify this music. It's like alternative indie punk rock with really fun lyrics. My favorite band is Tool. I love them for their energy. I enjoy Sullen for the same reason. High energy, occassionally mixing it up, and keeping your head bobbing and foot tapping with intoxicating drums and bass. I hope this is the first of many Sullen albums I own.

boys are worse

when i was sixteen, i puked on this band... and they were pretty nice about it. i've listened to this album all through highschool and college (this version's a re-release), and i really doubt i could ever get sick of it. shanna and justin are sexy as hell, and you'll probably... well, i can't use sexual language on here. nevermind.


Formed: 1999 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Spoken Word

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Sullen was a twin-guitar outfit out of St. Louis led by the dueling instruments and vocals of Justin Slazinik and Shanna Kiel. Friends since high school, Slazinik and Kiel began playing live in 1999, featuring a Spinal Tap-like revolving door of drummers and bass players. Gigging in St. Louis and throughout the Midwest, the band self-released two cassette singles before recording a ten-song demo and, later, another five-song demo. The grimy, overdriven punk of Nirvana's early work was a notable influence,...
Full Bio
Paint the Moon, Sullen
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