Song debut: Paint, “Southern Cut”

The Madison garage-rock trio has a new split cassette coming out with fellow locals Wood Chickens.

The Madison garage-rock trio has a new split cassette coming out with fellow locals Wood Chickens. (Photo by Bobby Hussy.)

In following the short career of Paint, it’s easy to get torn between the Madison band’s fierce, exuberant, high-tempo songs and the slow-burning ones. And the trio’s austere approach is, ironically, the very thing that makes Paint adept at swinging between a variety of garage-rock and post-punk sounds: On last year’s debut EP, Wet Paint, the band carved out a distinctive sound on both fast-paced punk thwackers like “Stingray” and the ominous, meandering “Blade Runner.”

That duality gets richer on a new split cassette between Paint and fellow Madison band Wood Chickens, due out soon through local label Kitschy Manitou. Last week Paint posted the raging, itching tracks that open their side of the tape, “Rumspringer” and “House Arrest.” The band’s other side comes through with warmth and a vivid sense of lethargy on the last song, “Southern Cut,” which we’re streaming here. Bassist/vocalist Joe Darcy comes off as both vulnerable and a little sardonic as he sings about life in a “two-horse town,” and guitarist Alex Hickel and drummer Jake Stamas gradually build the song up, never quite building to a full-on outburst but achieving a kind of patient, languid catharsis. Paint like to come through direct and raw, but their grasp of dynamics isn’t crude.

The band will be on hold starting this summer, as Stamas is moving to San Francisco. They’ve got a “farewell” show planned for June 5 at Mickey’s Tavern, and are hoping to squeeze in sessions for a full-length album over the next couple of months. Darcy and Hussy drummer Heather Hussy debuted a new project, Dirty Sads, just this weekend at Mickey’s.

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