This is a group that’s built on the streamlined rock and grunge sound that alternative seems to harbor so often. The songs on PaperSailor are in your face, but take their time to build and recluse when necessary. The general attitude is a loud and forceful attack of artful composition – surprise tags, unconventional structures, dense rhythmic choices, and home run guitar chords, bringing song’s to their knees just before they pull the plug.
I like the vocal aesthetic personally, the Highlands accent lends a sense of maturity and ethereal quality to what some would consider a less than civilized sound. Somewhere deep in the center of Paper Sailor is a pinch of punk rock and I think that fuels their aggressive musicality more than anything.
This is evident on “Jamaica (No Movement)”, a track with great drive and a powerful riff that scores some gravity points near the end as the chords become giant walls and the drums pound down, holding the listener in place. I cocked my head to the side and put on a sort of stank face – it was definitely a great heavy moment. The chorus uses a brilliant ascending harmony to illustrate tension, capitalized by the last note as it draws out and becomes a staple point.
The opening track, “Vaudeville” is possibly the most balanced cut on the record. It boasts the best intro with that sequencer effect, morphing into a fast paced rocker reminiscent of Fall Out Boy midway in their career. The song moves between feels and urgency, ultimately ending through a beautiful drawl of guitar and quasi half time drums.
“Little Miss This” is unavoidably engaging. It has a certain element of drama to it that moves like a car chase. And through it all there are passages of calm control that work in tandem with the biting pace. This one is art rock at its finest and the closing progression is all you really need to know. I’ve gotta hand it to PaperSailor for choosing their vamps so wisely, not to mention, nailing the production in nearly every sense. This album was surprisingly polished and tasteful – a definite recommendation for the alt minded introvert.
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