THE RITUALISTS are a Post Punk band from NYC. They have spent the last few years working toward finding their sound and creating their debut album The Painted People.
I personally don’t quite know how to describe this band, not because they are vastly different from anything else, but because they are similar to so many things all mashed together. They have stated their influences as many 60’s, 70’s and 80’s artists including DAVID BOWIE, SUEDE and THE KINKS. I can get a hint of them within the album but the overall tone is 80’s with a strong nod toward THE SMITHS and THE CURE. However, these two bands are not mentioned as influences which seems a little strange to me.
When researching into this band to get a better idea of who they are and what they’re about, I was met by the world’s longest biography on their Facebook page. Pretty much an album review in itself as well as a very long and poetic ode to the group. (It’s a little odd to read) I’m not sure who wrote it as the band members are referred to in third person, but I would have assumed the Bio would have been written by the band so I’m not sure what’s going on there.
The first release on the album is Ice Flower, a song which I didn’t mind on first listen through. It starts with some extra-terrestrial sounds and some groovy bass. It has the pop synth sound of 80’s and a vocal line which jumps through multiple octaves. This song is reminiscent of THE SMITHS and BOWIE, I can also hear little hints of THE MIGHT BOOSH in the chorus but I can’t fully figure out why. For me it was the most memorable on the album so a good choice for the first single release.
The title track I’m With The Painted People has a more upbeat and psychedelic feel to it giving it a more 70’s vibe. I can get the bands love of BOWIE in the lyrics of this more so. Mainly because it’s a song about the kinship between artistic, outside the box creative types when they come together. It’s based on the people met and friendships made by the lead Christian Dryden in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
The band has combined a variety of different eras into their sound an influence. It’s difficult with Post Punk not to blend into the background but they have added other sounds into the mix to keep it a little different. The overall theme of the album is 80’s to me but it does have some 60’s/70’s sounds embedded within and a dark glam aspect to it.
Words: Amanda Nicholls
Painted People is out now via Out Of Line Music.