EP Review: Bogues – ‘Paint All The Walls The Same’

Posted: by The Editor

One of the strongest draws of Bogues, a comprehensive narrative project by A.J. Gruenewald, is their ability to focus on micro-personal emotive moments and expand them. Throughout the Bogues discography, Gruenewald has proven time and time again that he can balance restraint with inclusion. Some of the best moments in the new EP are brief and isolated. The best example of that lies in “Rain All Day”, where the bridge becomes sporadic, ambient noises and banjo plucking.

This stage of the project is more multi-instrumental than that of his past, which represents Bogues’ growth as a musician. Though he’s not usually known for percussion, in Paint All The Walls The Same he’s included a recurring motif in snare rolls. Rolls that remind me of a steam engine chugging along iron tracks, inviting the idea of forward progression.

Hailing from Nashville, the influence of country melodies are seeping throughout the EP, aided by halting lines like, “Under the shower head, sweating out the blues / You’re ankle deep in it / I’m washing out the wound”. It’s eerily bittersweet. In contrast, there are larger -more modern- rocking progressions, seen in tracks like “Light Where There Was None”. The outro drops out and Bogues plays our expectations against us, switching to an entirely different tone, just like the course of life. I think that’s what I enjoy most about the whole project: it’s close, it’s sometimes too honest, and it isn’t always some big, incredible experience all the time.

Showing skill in pacing, Gruenewald saves the intense, climactic heartbreaking moment for the end of the final track. An ode to an old, lost friend, and an admission that recovery comes in phases. You can tear into the emotion with your teeth and taste honesty in every note. Bogues is a sunflower under no roof. He grows exponentially with every new season, and it’s a pleasure to hear each step along the way.

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Luciano Ferrara//@LucianoRFerrara