Paul Newman

Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package! Re-evaluate the Songs

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With a nod toward the title, everything on Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package! Re-evaluate the Songs is either unreleased or has been on various compilations or singles. Paul Newman plays indie rock influenced by its Chicago background, yet not all of the band's members live in Chicago. Somehow, with members living in New York City, Austin, and Chicago, they find a way to make the band work. Paul Newman is refreshing for, while they have a Chicago-influenced instrumental sound akin to Tortoise and Don Caballero, they occasionally lean toward heavier music as well. "Way to Breathe, No-Breath" displays a dark, textured sound combining low-end guitar progression with electronics that are mellow in their focus. Other songs cut the listener up with guitars of shredded aggression. Encapsulated with all of this are the vocals, or lack of them. Emerging only occasionally, when utilized, they are harsh and penetrating. On a track such as "Clear Baby," the entire song erupts, giving the listener Paul Newman's closest similarity to A Minor Forest or more aggressive June of '44 material. Of course, this is the same band that, just a few songs earlier on "December '91 or So," was displaying a depressingly bleak shadow by spreading its tendrils from an ominous bass sound. Unfortunately, in between such highlights, Paul Newman fails to excite the impartial individual. Although listening to this specific album may be suited only for die-hard Paul Newman fans, it displays Paul Newman's skills and unique tone quite adroitly.

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