Paper Tigers

Head Over Heels

Written by: BV on 26/12/2014 23:01:08

Paper Tigers is one of those bands whose influences are as obvious as they can possibly get, but at the same time they seem to have crafted themselves something of an identity at least. Some time ago they released a debut EP titled ”If We May?” which generally garnered positive responses from a wide range of media outlets, including us here at with our editor-in-chief dubbing it; ”very well-formed in a genre that's saturated by soulless clones and sound-alikes”. How have they then fared in attempting to distill this into a full-length album?

Well, with album opener “Turn You On” it’s pretty obvious that the band has chosen to lean on quite heavily on the power-pop tendencies of their repertoire with a catchy, ear-pleasing tune ripe with cowbell, tender vocal harmonies and a fairly safe melody line which most of all sounds like a fairly well-executed attempt at creating something that is remotely rock-oriented whilst still having a decent chance of getting some airplay on a larger radio station. Moving on to the title track, Paper Tigers are still channeling more than a fair bit of brit-pop influences with the rather straightforward nature of the track. The guitar sounds exactly crunchy enough for it to have a bit of edge, without scaring away the sensitive listeners while the bass packs a head-bopping punch reminiscent of the very earliest Oasis tracks.

Where the band fares best, however, is arguably on the Mellotron-fuelled “The Devil May Care”, which is quite frankly a prime example of an effective power-pop song fuelled by a recognizable, evocative and memorable melody line, underlined by a simple and effective rhythm section and guitar packing a fair bit of punch. That vocalist Linus Valdemar manages to competently emulate and make use of the Gallagher-characteristic ‘wailing vocals’ is by no means a diminishing element either. The band also appears to be channeling some very early-60’s mod influences on tracks like “This is Alright” and “Never Before”, but do so with far lesser success than on the albums earliest tracks.

Back on track with “We Should Head Home”, Paper Tigers unleash a rocking monster which stands out on the album as being the rawest outlet of energy found throughout the 37-minute runtime. The riff is punchy, catchy and reminiscent of the classic eras of classic rock in its own right and the interplay between the forceful drumming and the pounding bass-riff creates an enveloping musical experience that the attentive listener can’t really ignore. Topped off with a magnificent guitar solo, Paper Tigers prove that although they seem to be quite engaged in writing potential pop-hits, they can still work their way through a straight-forward rocker like this.

This is all well and good, however, I would still deem this debut a hit and miss affair on some points. There are obvious highlights to be found, like “The Devil May Care”, “We Should Head Home”, “Cave Man” and the melancholic album closer. However, there are also tracks that sadly feel a bit like filler material in the greater scheme. These tracks work in the live setting as far as I recall, but they don’t convey the same raw energy in the studio versions, sadly. Nonetheless this album is probably one that can open a few doors for Paper Tigers on their path to radio-airplay and the mainstream consciousness – however long or short that path may be.


Download: The Devil May Care, Goodbye, We Should Head Home
For the fans of: Oasis, Beady Eye, The Beatles
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.11.2014
Trechoma Records

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