Review Summary: In a year of great debuts here’s another to add to the list.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
2009 has been a fantastic year for debut material, from Cymbals Eat Guitars’ wonderful throwback to early indie, to fun.’s slice of gorgeous pop. Within the piles of albums and EPs that have given a band their first taste of sales there lies the debut EP of Paperprophets, who released it earlier this year in Newcastle to a sizable turn-out at the launch (I believe a 300 strong crowd is pretty sizable for a debuting indie band, correct me if I’m wrong). A strong collection of catchy indie-pop songs with electronic influences bubbling up onto the surface, it’s a wonderful way to kick off a career. Indeed, the synths that appear around the EP create an irresistibly quirky feel to the music while still keeping it accessible and decidedly danceable.
Tracks like Indigo, with its spacey synth lurking in the background and popping its head up only for the intro, bridge and outro, possibly best represent Paperprophets’ sound. When the lightly chugging guitar comes in and takes over you know you’re in for a fun and energetic indie-pop song. And they don’t disappoint, with a catchy chorus and drum work that makes you want to dance and clap to the beat.
The rhythm and lead guitars both perform as strong as the other, bouncing around actively as the drums tap away with the bass rumbling just audibly alongside. All this is complimented and completed with Asher’s nasally, but never whiny, vocals, which soar during the choruses and lay back nicely in the verses. His strongest performance is undoubtedly in At Sea, where he croons softly over thumping drums and bass while the rhythm guitar tinkles lightly and the lead echoes ethereally.
“What is this broken thing we keep?
The ship that shattered in the night
These lips we’re teaching how to breathe
So we’ll float higher up next time.”
Asher not only goes higher than I expected, he remains comfortable and strong throughout, he’s not a perfect vocalist, but he knows his limits, has obviously worked on them, and knows how to reach them easily. The backing vocals are lovely as well, adding an extra depth to the vocal section without overshadowing the lead.
There’s not a bad song on here, maybe a few that excel more so than others, creating one or two which can seem ‘sub-par’, but they’re not terrible, just not as strong, something which can hardly be called a real issue as it affects all albums. With plenty of pop-hooks, great rhythm and guitar work, Paperprophets have crafted a marvelous debut EP that I sincerely hope leads to an even greater debut album.
Little White Lie