I was sure when listening to the debut EP Against The World by Paper Giants that an engineer(s) that the band hired recorded it. This was not the case as the band did it completely themselves. It’s obvious that one of them must have some background in the field as the drums are clear but powerful, the guitar has a beefy mid-range and the vocals sit perfectly in the mix. The band consisting of Iain Low (vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboard), Ephraim Ritikos (lead guitar), Peter Wong (bass) and Daniel Tay (drums) make undeniable commercial rock/pop. Whether you like their style or not they got all the ingredients necessary for radio play in 2014. They have energy, catchy vocal lines whether you want to get them stuck in your head or not and chemistry. Low has that commercial radio friendly voice that sounds masculine but sensitive. You have heard it before and will either be like yeah I like this or turn it off. Those are the two camps.
The EP features three songs, which are meant to give you a little taste as to what these guys are capable of. They start off with “Against The World” in which the title pretty much explains the theme of the song. It’s about trudging through life with another person and ultimately having comfort with them besides you. The song relies on distorted power chords, a hard-hitting drumbeat and a hopeful, optimistic vocal delivery.
The theme for “Take Me Away” is a bit of a tearjerker as it’s about “a song inspired by a poem written by an orphan on abandonment, loneliness and the emotions that goes through the mind of one that has been left behind.” Low pulls off the masculine yet sensitive type here as he sings, “Everything’s going to be okay / Were the last words that you said.” The song starts off with an acoustic guitar and vocals but as it progresses more instrumentation is added. By the end of the song doves are flying and the band is going for full triumph mode.
They close with my personal favorite “We Will Go Out Singing.” I especially enjoyed the lead guitar part on this one. The boys hammer out some decent rocking on this track.
The tracks here have that overly hopeful sound going on. It’s all over terrestrial radio and if you like that sound you are in for a treat. For that do they do it well and you may just hear these songs blasting out of your FM radio in the not too distant future.
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