12 min, 28 sec
There are two distinct phases of Paint the Town Red. When the band began in 2010, they operated as a duo, comprised of Justin Vilardi and Eric Best. Their music comprised of little more than their voices and their guitars. This version of PTTR did numerous live shows and put together a few amateur-recorded demos, released on their website throughout 2010.
When the duo decided to head into the studio, however, cracks began to appear as Vilardi hoped to expand the band with more instrumentation, while Best was satisfied with their arrangement as a duo. Faced with irreconcilable differences, Best took the four songs that belonged to him and left the band. Vilardi, now free to do as he wished with the band, brought in additional musicians and finished up an album, released in August 2013.
The three songs in this set of demos are about romance, about making oneself better. Vilardi and Best complement each other vocally in a great way, and, though they seem to have reconciled this year, it’s really a shame that Best was never able to stay in the band.
These demos are nothing to scoff at. They’re simple and straightforward, but the arrangements demonstrate a great musical talent from both Best and Vilardi. There are so, so many local bands that one could listen to and think “Wow, they’ve really got something, don’t they?” and understand that they likely will never make it that far. Paint the Town Red is one of those bands, for me, and I’ve always believed that they really deserve recognition on a wider scale.
Vilardi has moved away from the purely acoustic style of these demos with Paint the Town Red’s debut album, but I hope that he eventually returns to this sort of music, because he has a true talent for it.
In trying to link to these songs, I’ve found that “Becca” and “Like a Fool” have been pulled from the band’s ReverbNation page, but “Habit” is still available for listening and to download, so give it a spin and see what you think.