Nightmare Fuel: Red House Painters
Not only are they known for their depressing tear jerking nature, RHP is also known for depressing people out of fear as well. Their slow tempo songs can create very scary drone-like atmospheres.
- The first 50 or so seconds of "Strawberry Hill". It sounds like eerie funhouse music with tons of dissonance and quiet, haunting melodies to boot. Then the beautiful main song comes in and completely resolves all the dissonance.
- The fuel doesn't stop there though. The song is about Kozelek when he was younger, scared out of his mind to go and socialize with the world outside him. Just listen to his description of the people outside his room "They lose control and get louder." Anybody who has suffered from social anxiety can fully relate to this.
- "Medicine Bottle" is the biggest example of theirs. It's almost 10 minutes of Kozelek telling a very vague metaphorical story with very creepy images. With lines like "It's all in my head," repeated over and over again as if he's taunting the listener. The song is basically about how people in relationships wander blindly through it, almost as if walking through a haunted house.
- There's also the very creepy guitar riff that plays throughout the song.
- "Down Colorful Hill" (the song, not the entire album) just feels so despairing and sad. The song itself is a tear-jerker, but it's also nightmare fuel. This one is more of the "adult fear" variety where the song is about having complete powerlessness over your actual success in life. No matter how much you pray, or beg, we are all subject to failure outside of our own control.
- Any of the lengthy songs that include repeated "demented" sounding sections like "Mother" and especially "Funhouse".
- "Blindfold" starts out very sad but than it picks up in intensity and in the last 2 and a half minutes or so Kozelek starts screaming like a dying animal. The effect is quite unnerving.
- The dead, lifeless performance of the Star Spangled Banner. It makes you feel absolutely frightened to live in the US as it makes it sound like an eerie place run by lunatics in an insane asylum.
- Ocean Beach is considerably lighter than the proceeding albums, and is relatively free of any really creepy moments. There is one exception however: the ending section to the beautiful song "Moments", during which the guitar line keeps picking up in intensity and gradually drowns out the other instruments. By the end of the song, it sounds as if the guitar is crying uncontrollably.
- From Retrospective we have the previously unreleased track "Waterkill" a dark tune which appears to be about drowning at the bottom of the ocean.
- Their album covers... Dear lord their album covers.
- Down Colorful Hill is an abandoned dirtied bed with a ghastly look to it.
- Rollercoaster is even worse. It's a picture of the now-demolished Thunderbolt rollercoaster from Coney Island with a crushed cart in the front.
- Bridge features a ton of plants and vines surrounding an abandoned wooden bridge.
- Ocean Beach is pretty sinister looking, too, with the black and white picture of a windmill and a few blurry freaky looking objects in the background.