1992, Music

Down Colorful Hill (1992) by Red House Painters

I do not know the history of slowcore, as I am only familiar with a few bands (5 or so tops) that would be considered slowcore and who existed in 1992. So I find myself unable to assess whether or not this is an important record in the development of the genre, given that lack of information. And, perhaps undermining to the degree to which I might rate this highly due to its influence/impact/what have you, I know for a fact that there were slowcore bands in existence 4-5 years earlier.

There is, therefore, a temptation for me to write this off as something derivative, or just another slowcore band, even though I don’t know enough about the genre to do that, or to lionize it.

But that feels somewhat moot when I actually listen to the record. Because, regardless of this album’s place in the history of slowcore, I quite like it.

I like the songs: I find the melodies strong enough to keep me interested despite the tempo. If anything, they work in part because of the tempo. Would they work faster? Maybe, but they work this slow.

And I admire their willingness to take slowcore to its logical conclusion: there are two songs that approximately 10 minutes in length here. I’m not sure that anyone had done that before but, also, they make it work – I’ll listen to these songs again in spite of, or perhaps because of, their length.

So it has sort of stopped mattering to me whether or not this record was an important step in the genre. I like it too much.


All tracks written by Mark Kozelek.

  1. “24” 6:47
  2. “Medicine Bottle” 9:49
  3. “Down Colorful Hill” 10:51
  4. “Japanese to English” 4:42
  5. “Lord Kill the Pain” 6:03
  6. “Michael” 5:23
  • Mark Kozelek – vocals, guitar
  • Anthony Koutsos – drums
  • Jerry Vessel – bass guitar
  • Gorden Mack – guitar

Produced by Mark Kozelek. Released September 14, 1992.

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