The Paper Chase
Young Bodies Heal Quickly, You Know


4.5
superb

Review

by Avirov USER (3 Reviews)
June 27th, 2009 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Solder me like a wire that breathes, your carbon copy fibre optic plea.

The Paper Chase is an experimental alternative rock/pop group hailing from Dallas, Texas, and headed by singer/guitarist/producer John Congleton (notable for his production work with Modest Mouse, The Thermals, and Explosions In The Sky). Their debut LP, Young Bodies Heal Quickly, You Know, was released in 2000 by Kill Rock Stars.

Young Bodies is a frightening album. Which makes sense, the singer for The Paper Chase produces Halloween records in his spare time, but is still somewhat shocking in the context of modern music. Most alternative rock bands put emotion in their singing, using powerful delivery to add feel and soul to their voice. Heavier music uses discordance, and screamed vocals to put power in their music. The Paper Chase, on the other hand, use extreme instrumental harmonic dissonance, quiet-loud songwriting, and strangled, shouted vocals to create the unique emotional feel found on Young Bodies.

This is best found in the dynamic moments of the album when sporadic, frantic guitar solos break out over howled choruses, or when the quiet drum loops are suddenly blown apart by walls of discordant piano chords. Dynamics like these are really what make Young Bodies what it is. At some moments of the album, a simple piano melody or drum loop may play through the whole song while vocals and guitar melodies weave in and out of the song, changing in intensity or volume each time to different effect. Other times, songs can churn along for a few minutes before climaxing, often without any build up to said climax; notably track "Paperwork Paperwork Paperwork." where various noises play behind a simple, energetic punk beat for almost a minute before guitar and bass suddenly explode into the song and grip it for its remaining three minutes, playing through a handful of riffs and melodies at breakneck pace before ending suddenly.

The songwriting on Young Bodies is well matched by the instrumentation, which ranges from acoustic guitar and piano to fuzzy walls of distorted bass and fuzzed-out lead guitars. The tone of the instrumentation is often dissonant, with notes not harmonizing or harmonizing in odd ways, but they are combined with simple pop sensibilities in such a way that the music doesn't sound 'experimental' as much as it just sounds new. The drums are also fantastic on the album, using heavy syncopation and occasionally distortion effects to produce a remarkably unique sound.

Despite their bizarre harmonic sensibilities and songwriting habits, The Paper Chase is still a pop band at heart. The estranged shouts and wails of singer John Congleton, although jarring at first listen, slowly reveal more and more emotion throughout Young Bodies. At the beginning, the album's narrator is presented as somewhat of a madman, ranting about mortality, patriotism, armageddon, and evil machinery, but around the middle of the album he becomes a loveable character, quietly lamenting the loss of his girlfriend as the (figurative") end of the world approaches. And at the very end of Young Bodies, the listener listens in to his soulful ballad to his lover over pounding drums and shouting madmen:
Quote:
If the big one/ If the big one hits/ I'll just meet you there / I'll just meet you there

And at that point it becomes apparent that the true magic of the album is in the album as an experience; a careful madman's narrative of love, loss, nationalism, and eventual armageddon, driven by powerful avant-garde pop.

4.5/5


user ratings (26)
Chart.
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Avirov
June 27th 2009


1206 Comments


Yup

Spare
June 27th 2009


5567 Comments


review is well written and to the point. also band is great. also pos because you deserve it bro!

Avirov
June 27th 2009


1206 Comments


Much appreciated. Band needs more love for sure.

KritikalMotion
June 27th 2009


2275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

myspaced and they sound good. best album to start with?

Avirov
June 27th 2009


1206 Comments


I've only heard this one, at this point. But it's fantastic, so start here.

KritikalMotion
June 27th 2009


2275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

D: weird album



i love it.



i swear the sounds at the end of Throw Your Body On The Apparatus are from a video game.



Willie
Moderator
June 27th 2009


17611 Comments


Nice review. You seem to like a lot of the same music I do so I'll check this out.

marksellsuswallets
June 27th 2009


4851 Comments


These guys rocked pretty hard when they played here a couple weeks ago. I've been meaning to look into them further since then but I keep forgetting, so thanks for reminding me.

Knott-
Emeritus
June 27th 2009


10204 Comments


the lyrics you quoted alone are enough to make me check these guys out, but it's a great review, pos.

KritikalMotion
July 2nd 2009


2275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Get the next album Avirov. Awesome stuff.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 3rd 2009


10204 Comments


on my first listen through this and it's damn good, but this is NOT a pop album.

is still a pop band at heart


seriously.

i know a lot of people think anything outside of death metal is pop but this isn't.

it is, however, good. very good, even.

Avirov
July 3rd 2009


1206 Comments


Get the next album Avirov. Awesome stuff.

Wasn't able to find when I tried a long while back, but I am a bit more knowledgeable now, I'll grab
it as soon as possible. Probably review it too.

i know a lot of people think anything outside of death metal is pop but this isn't.

I believe they are a pop band at heart by their use of infectious, upbeat, chorus-driven music and
generally energetic sound. But that's just me.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 3rd 2009


10204 Comments


Yah i get that, and i guess it depends on how you define 'pop'. I don't limit pop music to radio music, I'm not that narrow minded, but this definitely belongs in its place in 'alt/indie'.

Either way I thank you for turning me onto them, album is great. Gonna give it a few more spins before I rate.

KritikalMotion
July 6th 2009


2275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hide the Kitchen Knives is amazing....when of the best albums i've heard for a long time...can see it coming towards my top 20 albums at least..

Avirov
July 6th 2009


1206 Comments


Willie, you don't like it?

Willie
Moderator
July 6th 2009


17611 Comments


No, not at all. I gave it quite a few listens too.

Avirov
July 6th 2009


1206 Comments


Bummer, man.

Willie
Moderator
July 6th 2009


17611 Comments


In the band's defense it takes a very specific sound and style for me to like this kind of music. This felt (IMO) kind of sloppy and noisy.

Avirov
July 6th 2009


1206 Comments


I enjoy the loose approach to the instrumentation but to each their own.

KritikalMotion
July 11th 2009


2275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

review their new one please avirov ):



Someday This Could All Be Yours, Vol. 1.



It's soooooooo good, although more relaxed. People would find it easier to like. Fav album of the year.



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