Paper Monsters - Strong Guys
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: February 24th, 2010
Paper Monster’s Strong Guys kicks off with a deceptively soft guitar instrumental. The EP’s opener and title-track is a one-minute-plus intro showcasing the band’s musical abilities, for lack of a better phrase. “What is this, like strong guys or somethin’ like that?” an audio clip closes out the song, providing a much more proper introduction to the EP than the track itself does.
“Gravedigger”, the second of six tracks, takes cues from New York’s Bomb The Music Industry! The vocals are heartfelt in a way that naturally comes with the yelling/singing combo that has come to mark today’s music scene in the easycore/posicore genres.
“Don’t Be A Hero” easily finds its way as perhaps the catchiest and most marketable song upon first listen. Finding home in the likes of The Wonder Years and Four Year Strong, this track is vividly rooted in overlapping vocals and a kick of solid guitar work. A sidetracked ear may only catch bits and pieces of this song, clutching to lines that may bring visualizations of days past with friends (“Back in the day we used to all go swimming, ride on our bikes and explore new cities). But hit that rewind button for a minute or you’ll find yourself lost when the gang vocals make themselves known with a few cries of “Eating brains with my best friends, never thought we'd be on the same side again.” Paper Monsters has cleverly hidden their own take on wanting to escape their current positions in life, not because of a wretched job or a failing love life, but because of the entrapment in the life of a zombie. And, really, who can pass up a song about a “one man team zombie killing machine?”
But that humorous gem is one of a kind as the remainder of the EP’s tracks do indeed fall into the adolescent/young adult questioning of one’s purpose in life and learning to just make the best of what you have. The musicianship is raw, though developing its focus. A few choice lyrics are where the band’s strength lies. Though I (and you) may drift in and out of interest from song-to-song, taking the time to pick apart the lyrics from the music can make all the difference in the appreciation of this band’s efforts. There’s no denying that Paper Monsters have the aspirations to make killer music – devouring of brains included –, but you will entirely miss the point unless you take a second listen to Strong Guys for the content behind it all.
“You forget the most important thing; to live your fucking life.”
Love these guys. "Don't Be a Hero," and "Stillwell Angel" are definitely my favorites from the EP. Eighty-Four probably has the most creative instrumentation in my opinion. Hopefully we can share a van and a stage on tour sometime in the near future. Maybe watch Cloverfield or something...