Emotional Response Records is doing heroic work giving new exposure to artists from the catalog of the defunct, much-loved Sarah Records. Among the most welcome is the work of Action Painting!. Welcome not just because of the quality, although the quality is undeniable, but because over the course of six years prior to disbanding, the band did not record a full length. However, they did release four singles with Sarah and one single with Damaged Goods. That previously released material, plus unreleased material carefully curated by the band, now comprises Trial Cuts.
The listener doesn't need to dive too deeply into this collection to discover that Action Painting! wasn't a prototypical Sarah Records band. Yes, they jangled, strummed and crafted hooks. But their sound also could be loud, fuzzy and aggressive. Just compare "These Things Happen", below, with the following "Collapsing Cloud" and the demo for "Sailor Beware". This was, indeed, a versatile band that could produce sighs from the twee crowd but stand shoulder to shoulder with The Wolfhounds and 14 Iced Bears. So lend Trial Cuts your ears, and it will pleasure them from several directions. And note that Action Painting! has reformed and is writing new material. Let this compilation be your prologue to their next chapter.
Trial Cuts is available now in vinyl, CD and digital formats (See the Bandcamp link).
Bandcamp for Trial Cuts