Where: Market Square Records
Peter Ulrich is known for being the percussionist for such cult bands as Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil, and under his The Peter Ulrich Collaboration moniker he looks set to mark the evolution of his trademark sound with new album The Painted Caravan. Now I don’t know about you, but I fucking love caravans. I mean they’re definitely up there with your Ferraris and your Lamborghinis in terms of aesthetics and they certainly rev my engine moreso than your crappy everyday Bugatti Veyron, so you could imagine the amount of excitement I got learning that somebody has finally got the guts to call their own work as something as incredible and flawless as a caravan.
All joking aside, The Peter Ulrich Collaboration brings a lot of detailed, varied and certainly interesting instrumentations to The Painted Caravan. From opening song In This Or Other Skin the listener is instantly turned towards a dreary atmosphere formed from acoustic guitars and various percussive instruments before eventually collaborating with bagpipes and brass to produce a very emotive backdrop which is unfortunately used to emphasise the poorly executed lyrical content. There’s not a lot in the lyrics that grab at you with as much impact as the instrumentals and the lack of hooks or distinguishable chorus makes this track flop despite its strong opening.
Apart from the instrumentations there’s little else to The Painted Caravan that’s praise-worthy. The vocals after the first couple of listens begin to grate heavily, making it even harder to appreciate this “evolutionary trademark sound”. I don’t know what Peter Ulrich’s sound was before he shifted to this change, but I don’t see why it’s being celebrated.
Sadly The Painted Caravan fails to mark Peter Ulrich’s trademark sound with a gloriously shiny gold sticker, but leaves a pretty grotty stain instead. The instrumentations were the only bright spark of this record but even then they could have been so much better; everything could have been so much better, including that title, dear me. Every caravan needs a location to make it seem worthwhile, and sadly this painted caravan has ended up lost.