Gym Class Heroes
The Papercut Chronicles



by The Jungler USER (183 Reviews)
March 27th, 2006 | 25 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

I came across Gym Class Heroes whilst browsing Purevolume's Hip Hop section. I was drawn to them by their name. This s probably wouldn’t have happened if the band was called something like Atmosphere (though Atmosphere are superior to GCH). Anyways I listened to the single and album’s title track Papercuts and then Taxi Driver (a song that seemingly mentions almost every band in the current pop-punk scene). Well needless to say I ended up listening to the whole album and now I am here at my computer reviewing it.

The Sound
GCH from the second I saw their line-up reminded me of one band, The Roots. Not because they necessarily sound like the Roots but because like the Roots they use live instruments to play their brand of Alternative Hip-Hop. In a way GCH almost have more in common sound wise with Pop-Punk giants and tour mates Fall Out Boy (Lead Singer Patrick Stump actually is featured on a single). GCH combine perfectly quirky lyrics with almost post-punk style riffs. This is in my opinion almost exactly what the current popular rap scene needs. Travis, the band’s rapper has the perfect style of writing, witty, quirky, fun and even sometimes kind of scary. And his voice fits so well.

The Story
This album is sort of a loose concept album. The tracks follow a general order but don’t seem like they were written to go together like whole concept albums like A Grand Don’t Come for Free. The main character starts out with the end of a relationship (Papercuts), then he starts dating around to fill the whole (Make Out Club). Then he loses a close friend/relative. To end the depression that his ex-girlfriend and friend’s death left he begins to use drugs (Pillmatic). Soon he finds another girl (Cupid’s Chokehold) and loses her. He finally figures out that he is gay and gets murdered after coming out (Faces in the Hall). This is at least my interpretation of the story. I might be wrong though.

The Standout Tracks

After a psychedelic intro the first GCH song I ever heard comes on. Papercuts describes an old relationship coming too an end, even though the main character doesn’t want it to. Despite the hardly original song topic Gym Class Heroes make the topic their own. The music on this CD is just so good. If the lyrics don’t get caught in your head the bass line will, with its octaves in the beginning and perfect lines in the choruses. The production on this CD is amazing, everything is the perfect level, perfect tone and perfectly timed.
She says she loves me but she comes and goes when she pleases/When the door shuts
it's like another papercut/and now I'm stuck with a hand full of band aids/until she comes back around like them ceiling fan blades

The previously mentioned Taxi Driver begins with a single beautiful guitar line, Showing that unlike D4L and such GCH can actually follow up a song that could make a girl angry (Make Out Club) with a song that a girl (or a guy for that matter) could fall in love with. Fitting perfectly under the pretty guitar line is a thumping bass line and drum that fits with the bass line like pieces in a puzzle. Even after I’ve listened to this song 9 or 10 times I still enjoy listening to it and figuring out the witty lyrics in which Travis mixes a story about a girl (surprise, surprise) in with at least 50 band names. Everyone from the obvious, Fall Out Boy and Taking Back Sunday to the not so obvious, Story of the Year and Death Cab for Cutie. Besides being a fun song this song features some of the best rapping on the album. I can totally see this as being a free style rap.
she played games but she took em too far/At the Drive In/watching soft porn and you can tell/By the Trail of the Dead, that there was somethin in the popcorn /I hop in my cab destination Midtown/just to Get Up with some Kids that like to get down

The next song is the most personal and for that reason GCH don’t play it live. Pillmatic is, besides being the most personal; actually sounds like a hip hop song. Featuring an eerie string and piano sample Pillmatic almost sounds like an Outkast song, especially because Travis’ voice sounds much Andre 3000 voice. The lyrics as the name might suggest talks about the singer’s drug addiction and how he steals pills to get away from the pain of life. A very emotional song to say the least.
Pillmatic breezing these down im poundin honey grounds/I’m pillmatic the oxycontin got my stomach rottin/Pillmatic I swear to God I’m not an addict/But I’m still at it, dag nabbit I’m pillmatic

My prediction is that the next single, Cupid’s Chokehold will put Gym Class Heroes lyrics into the myspace profiles of every twelve-year-old girl who watches MTV. With its odd (to say the least) video and guest spot by none other than Patrick Stump (for everyone who lives under a rock, the singer in Fall Out Boy) Cupid’s Chokehold is almost guaranteed to set a fire on the TRL charts… but who knows. Not to mention that the song isn’t half bad either. As you can guess the love sick songs are back and the drug songs are out. The lyrics are written as a note to the main characters parents, telling them about how great his girlfriend is.
. And I know it sounds so old/ but cupid’s got me in a choke hold/And I’m afraid that I might give in/towels on the mat/ my white flag is waving .

Faces in the Hall totally changes the mood that Cupid’s Chokehold left behind. The lyrics profile a homo-sexual teen named Alberto and how is teased, ridiculed and eventually murdered. The music in this song is simple to say the least. The verses practically feature only a drum part. The chorus isn’t exactly a great sing-a-long. The second verse profiles Alberto’s girlfriend, a head strong rebel who has no idea that Alberto is gay.
Alberto had a monster he kept under his bed/instead of letting it out,/he just got a girlfriend instead/she knew something was funny/she could tell by his behavior/
or the way he flamboyantly shook his hand/when he would wave to her

The album ends on kind of a low note. Instrumentals, remixes and songs that really don’t fit. Although the instrumentals are actually really good and the last two songs aren’t bad either I just can’t get into them. The remix is fairly terrible.

- Singer has a great voice
- Band makes great beats and melodies
- Good Lyrics
- Story is interesting

- Way to many songs about girls (In the Dashboard Confessional style)
- A lot of filler (especially at the end)
- Papercuts Remix


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user ratings (178)

Comments:Add a Comment 
March 27th 2006


I listened to a couple tracks on purevolume. They are very interesting, which is odd for me because I hate pop-punk. Nice review.

March 27th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

I got this cd awhile ago and keep it in regular rotation in my cd player. The music is very good, and it's always an easy listen. AndI have to say,"Taxi Driver" is a big guilty pleasure for me. Good review.

March 27th 2006


It's a decent album I thought. Quite good to just chill out too, since the music is quite mellow. They play all their live sets with instruments as well which I find pretty cool.

"Taxi Driver" is the first song I heard from them and I was hooked on that. I was trying to figure out every band name in it that I could, but I lost count.

March 27th 2006


I'm not much of a fan of the style of the review, but you did a great job analyzing the story.
I haven't heard any of this, but it sounds really good from your review.

The Jungler
March 27th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

I don't really like the style of review either. I reviewed this 3 times, track by track, overall and this. This just looked and read the best I think.

March 29th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

this is def. indie rap but w/e its really good

The Jungler
March 30th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Theres no genre for indie rap. Otherwise this would be in it.

April 16th 2006


oooo, here come the genre nazis

The Jungler
May 7th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Oh, here come the pointless comments late comments (All though mine was quite late).

On a note related to the album, the video for Cupid's Chokehold is quite terrible. So much more could have been done with such a good song. I also just noticed the lead singer of GCH is in the new(er) Fall Out Boy video (also terrible).

May 30th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

"like Atmosphere (GCHs contemporaries in the Emo-Rap genre)"


The Jungler
May 30th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, I changed that. I wrote this a long time ago.

November 11th 2006


I love this album. Ever since I saw them at Warped Tour ive been hooked.

Two-Headed Boy
January 17th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

Such a good band. This album is bonkas.

January 31st 2007


i listened to a few of the tracks for the album on purevolume. concereding the genre is hip-hop/indie, i thouhgt it would be horrid. but it's accually kind of enjoyable.

February 2nd 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Love this CD. I agree perfectly with your pros and cons but I feel that it deserves a 4. This CD is muuuuch better than As Cruel As School Children. Plus, the jazzy guitar riffs with reggae bass and live drums are an amazing combination with the singing/rapping of Travis. Great CD.

April 22nd 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

I agree with the review, but also must give this a 4.

First time in a long time I've looked forward to hearing more from a new (to me) group.

May 7th 2007


you were absolutely rights about chupid's chokehold. I just found it really weird that it took a whole nother album before cupids chokehold took off. But i think as cruel as schoolchildren has alot more single worth songs

October 1st 2007


this is a great album. i listened to it non-stop when i bought it.

March 20th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Well I come here because I figured I needed to look up the reviews for GCH as I know all of the members fairly personally. At any rate it seems for the most part they are all favorable which is nice to see. I did however come to this album because I feel it is stronger then As Cruel As School Children. Anyway I digg this album much more then the latter. Also as a side note, the song So Long Friend actually happened his cousin was, as found out later, murdered and then her apartment was burnt down, so it is just his tribute to her.

September 10th 2008


nobody notice that chupid's chokehold is a complete ripoff??? Any of you had heard Supertramp - Breakfast in America????THIS IS THE SAME SONG. Damn artist these days need more inspirations. It'S like that black singer: who sang that song : Because you'Re beautiful girl.... DAMNIT THIS IS STAND BY ME!!!!

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