MP3 Paperback - Let´s Go Ride Bikes
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In under 40 minutes Paperback explores bank robbery ,self awareness ,childhood drama and jilted lovers.
14 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Punk, ROCK: Hard Rock
Paperback's first full-length album provides tight, diverse Rock & Roll for an ADD world
By Katherine L. Sontag
Photo By Katherine Sontag
Q: How many ADD kids does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Let's go ride bikes!
After 10 minutes with Paperback the ADD joke above has new meaning.
Images of a box of Marlboro's, three drinking-straw catapults, a paper napkin attempt at origami and countless off-the-subject interjections (like whether Spiderman or Superman superhero underpants were cooler) dominate my recollections of the interview. So nothing else for the title of their first full-length album, Let's Go Ride Bikes, could be more perfect.
"We really try to keep our songs short and to the point," says Tom Willis, lead guitarist and vocalist. "The ADD joke frames up who Paperback is nicely."
Well put. The entire album clocks in at barely 40 minutes, and no song goes far over three minutes.
"Plus, the majority of the members are severely afflicted with ADD," jokes drummer Josh Craig, as he avoids bassist David Rockel's ongoing straw catapult attack of wet napkin bits.
Don't be fooled -- there's something to be said for songs neatly packaged for vending machine efficiency, whether it stems from self-diagnosed ADD or sheer got-what-it-takes intelligence.
Rockel, Willis and Craig have spent the last year aggressively carving out a niche for their hard-to-define genre of Rock. When they first started fusing their different influences into one sound, there was a lot of arguing and debating over where to take their music.
"The hardest thing about promotion is selling a sound you, the band, have a hard time describing," says Willis. "The overwhelming amount of Indie-Rock-friendlier venues forced us to work harder for shows."
The mystery behind the music has only brought more interest to Paperback. Their equally indefinable fans have been hungry for the new album, and Let's Go Ride Bikes is mmm-mmm-good instant gratification.
The drive to keep listeners on their toes has produced a one-night stand with multiple partners in sound form. Before you can get tired of one song, Paperback is on to the next.
A quick no-commitment climax, "The Heist," opens the album with short, adrenaline-heavy bursts of NOFX-esque, ditty-Punk bass lines and brash guitar. Craig mediates between the madness and Metal secretly at war in Willis and Rockel's playing. The song stems from a topic, not necessarily related to something personally experienced, according to Rockel.
"Rock has become a platform for teen-angst bands like Linkin Park, which is what we avoid," says Craig.
"Gasoline" breaks down into a hushed fervor highlighting darker lyrics about arson.
"Well, ('Gasoline') isn't an unrelated topic," jests Rockel.
"Speak for yourself. I am no arsonist," clarifies Willis, while Rockel smiles back mockingly, making them seem closer to brothers than bandmates.
Let's Go Ride Bikes has been a patient project that showcases a more mature, comfortable sound with a tight, punchy format that keeps the listener guessing. It's over before you know it and, no, they don't give out Ritalin with purchase.
With the album and last year's goals complete, the band is gingerly looking to the future.
"We don't try to rush into anything," says Craig. "Each year we set modest goals, like producing a full-length album and playing two shows a month."
Playing more out-of-town shows is on next year's list.
"We recently played in this small town where we were treated like old-school Rock stars -- crowd surfing, autograph signings, really wild, really cool," says Willis.
"We were treated bigger than The Beatles," Willis adds. "Cincinnati should do more of that."
Review of "Let's Go Ride Bikes"
Cincinnati rock trio Paperback smashed into our scene in the winter of 2002. In just two short years they have wreaked havoc on the music community by destroying preconceived notions that fans, bands, and promoters alike held about our scene.
Are they punk? Are they rock? Are they grunge? Are they pop?
Drop the labels.
With a CEA nomination and the release of Let's Go Ride Bikes under their belt, Paperback have pulled themselves to the upper echelon of local musicians by creating a sound all their own.
Let's Go Ride Bikes, the band's first proper studio release, contains 14 tracks of flowing rock music that is so intent on distorting the creative lines between genres that it has them poised to transcend our labels, our scene, and our city in 2005.
"Cakeeater", the self-proclaimed hit song, sets the tone for Let's Go Ride Bikes as guitarist Tom Willis's riffs rise above and beyond the norm. Mixed with catchy vocals, solid drumming, and a weird beat, "Cakeeater" definitely managed to grab my attention the first time I heard it.
"Serfs R Us", track 4, is a fist pumping jam about transparency completely reversing the direction that "Cakeeater" went in.
Moving on: Track 8, "Anthem", is the one track that is lost on me. This instrumental track features slick guitar work and an addictive bass line, however, the lack of vocals really leaves the track feeling undersold and empty.
Following "Anthem" is "Handcuffs", a Social Distortion-esque ode that really showcases lead singer David Rockel's soothing vocals. In fact, Rocket's vocals have the ability to transform, almost re-inventing his voice throughout each and every track as if the band is switching singers between songs. I found that this versatility was nice as each song throughout the album sounded fresh and different from the next.
"Lost", track 10, shows off Willis's insane guitar work making your head want to explode in a good sort of way. Followed by the epic "The Battle of The Beast and The Boy", Paperback kicks into an overenergized aggression making the track bust at its seam. I honestly can not wait to see this track live.
Coming down from the highs I enjoyed while listening to this album I have to say that there is one thing that bothers me. It seems as if the drumming on tracks 1-4 just don't feel right. The sound is off, a little too tinny for my tastes, which is confusing considering their perfect mold into the disc's later tracks.
All in all a great listen....
Compare them to Metallica, Black Flag, Social Distortion, Smashing Pumpkins, Husker Du, Blind Melon, etc... and you'd be wrong.
See, to classify Paperback's sound is to deny them this hybrid of rock that they have created. It is not only a disservice to yourself, but to the band as well. The creative blend flowing into Let's Go Ride Bikes makes this a fun release that doesn't take itself too seriously. I am positive it will remain in constant rotation once it reaches your CD player.
To preview tracks from Let's Go Ride Bikes, Paperback's first proper studio release, check out the following: https://www.tradebit.com
Paperback's CD release show takes place Friday - December 10, 2004 at York St. Cafe. The show, which starts at 9 PM, features Paperback, Hilltop Distillery, Super 77, The Minor Leagues, and DJ Empirical.
You can also catch Paperback Friday - January 14, 2005 at York St. Cafe with local acts Super 77 and Defrost Star.
Like what you read or heard? Book Paperback by contacting Jennifer Sullivan at [email protected]://www.tradebit.com .
Written By: NoUse
Paperback : Fathers of the new subgenre: Scatter-rock
by Aaron Willis
* Josh Craig- drums
* David Rockel- bass, vox
* Tom Willis- guitar, vox
The rock trio Paperback is rock-n-roll, that's the easy part, but what to classify as the subgenre? There needs to be a term to describe this melodic return to modern rock, that all-too-brief musical period that was drowned out in a wave of grunge. It was a time of rock songs with hooks and humor, oddly modest and modestly odd, where stood giants like Husker Du, Soul Asylum, and the Pixies. To hear a Paperback live show is to usher in that age again, where songwriting counts and it feels good to rock.
The term can't just be rock, because Paperback's sound is more complex than the whole White Stripes/Hives/Strokes/Vines three-chord-only doctrine. With changing tempos, odd time signatures and fluid guitar solos, one suspects that these boys gave equal rotation to The Who, Rush and Cheap Trick, and wouldn't blush saying so.
Paperback formed in the winter of 2002 and spent a great deal of time refining their sound before gig one so as to deliver the goods when it came time. Cincinnati is an unforgiving town for arts and music, and first impressions count. The boys nailed a balls-out version of Madonna's "Beautiful Stranger" (which still finds its way into their set) at a tribute and made people take notice from the get-go.
On the local club circuit, Paperback has not discerned who they play with, giving them a chance to win over indie rockers, punks and metallers and build a cross-pollinated bleacher gallery. This is also the conundrum with the subgenre term: Would the black t-shirt crowd shy away from a "power pop" billing? Would indieheads steer clear of a "hard rock" label? Would punks thumb their noses at "alt-prog?"
Their first EP, a self-produced 8 song goodie bag called "Glyph" got the boys out of the basement even more, started their songwriting juices flowing. With constant booking, local airplay (including the legendary 97X WOXY) the song machine was on full steam, and they outgrew "Glyph" almost immediately after its release. A honed, polished Paperback now stood confidently on its ashes, its boot firmly on the ass of the live music scene. They kept their set a trim and blistering 30 minutes, dolling out a fierce, urgent slab of melodic heaviness. (Certain songs have become cult-like anthems with fans, "Cake Eater," is the closest thing currently to a Paperback theme song.)
An album proper was the next logical step and demand has been high through months of recording and rerecording. That LP, "Let's Go Ride Bikes" (the punchline to a joke about ADD) comes out in December 2004. It will include re-worked "Glyph" pieces as well as a bevy of new tunes. Paperback: scattered influences, scattered fanbase, scattered energy. This is the new subgenre: scatter-rock, and Paperback is the at the helm.
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