Red House Painters Red Perspective

Even in Red House Painters’ quietest moments, there’s a brute emotional force that captures the imagination. Red Perspective, a new double-CD compiling band leader Mark Kozelek’s career with British independent label 4AD, showcases the raw power of love gone wrong and other pains of everyday living. A combination of some of the San Francisco band’s finest studio tracks, unearthed alternative takes and live recordings, the album cuts a swath through Red House Painters’ four-album, four-year career with 4AD. Perhaps best known for unique takes on classic rock songs, including Simon and Garfunkle’s “I Am A Rock” and Kiss’s “Shock Me,” the band could also strike its own chords with haunting efficiency. The sparse, plaintive sound of “Summer Dress” and “Katy’s Song” showcase exquisite arrangements. Kozelek’s quartet, which was signed in 1992, made its music plain in these mid-tempo songs. No showy solos or bass runs ruin the naked emotion of these personal slices of life. No clutter in the mix detracts from the nervy lyrical vein that runs through Kozelek’s autobiographical world in song. (4AD)