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Not a proper debut as such, Down Colorful Hill instead comprises the demo recordings which won Red House Painters their contract with the 4AD label, released here with minimal overdubbing. Regardless, the group has already reached full maturity; these lengthy, ponderous songs are remarkably evocative portraits of a distinctly tortured psyche – Mark Kozelek forgoes the camouflage of metaphor to lay his soul on the line, and the honesty of his craft is both beautiful and disturbing.


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