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Paddock Park - A Hiding Place for Fake Friends Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 6.75
Musicianship 6.75
Lyrics 6.25
Production 8
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 6.5
Reviewer Tilt 7
Final Verdict: 69%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.75
Musicianship 6.5
Lyrics 8.75
Production 8.25
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 7.75
Reviewer Tilt 8.25
Average: 79%

Paddock Park - A Hiding Place for Fake Friends

Reviewed by: Alana Rome (03/09/09)
Paddock Park - A Hiding Place for Fake Friends
Record Label: Eulogy Recordings
Release Date: November 11, 2008

The relatively new quintet from Panama City, Florida, has released their debut album, A Hiding Place for Fake Friends, and listeners can tell someone in the band is definitely pissed; vindictive lines are spit and witty quips are laced with smooth harmony throughout all 10 tracks. I mean, who can resist a refrain that begins with "Spread your legs for attention/Bat those pretty eyes”? Paddock Park keeps the subject matter quite clear throughout the record, as well: girl has left boy and boy is left with an internal struggle of whether he should win her back or let her go. The emotional pendulum sways from attempting to save her in "It's Not Running Away If You Have Somewhere To Go" ("I'll let you in, let you in on another escape plan/'Cause you’ve been held captive once again/Who’s to say you can’t get away?") to wishing her all the worst in "I'll Swing My Fists" ("You can't hide behind your fake moralities and pride/Fucking whore").

The narrator battles the love and hatred he feels for this girl, and at the same time, the melodies and screams (between vocalist Austin McAuley and guitarist-vocalist John Copeland, respectively) battle over control of each song measure. They go back and forth and over and under each other brilliantly and almost seamlessly. The straight-up melodies, however, seem much stronger than the guttural vocals, so much so that perhaps the screams should have taken a backseat to the singing. Then again, the constant shift between rough and smooth vocals keeps listeners' ears perked.

No fancy electronics or instruments can be heard on this album, and there's something admirable in relying solely on vocal chords, strings and percussion that brings us back to a time before ProTools. Even more admirable, though, is drummer Bobby Scruggs' ridiculously impressive talents. A near-consistent, 30-second drum roll during "HopeyoudieXO" can make listeners' hands hurt just listening to it.

If there is one Achilles' heal for Paddock Park and their Fake Friends, it is certainly the art of the breakdown. The band typically gives listeners a spine-tingling lead up and then disappoints with a timid and slow-tempo breakdown, such as the one found on "I Only Regret the Summer." Thankfully, the band picks up the tempo a bit in songs like "Forgetting Allie Mae."

Overall, Paddock Park and A Hiding Place for Fake Friends should end up on every hardcore lover's radar relatively soon. Not only has the band created a smooth album full of raw emotion, they keep each song's message straight and to the point, while dressing them up with dynamic arrangements and a good balance of highs and lows. For a year and a half's worth of effort, the band has executed a debut effort with lasting value.

Recommended If You LikeBlessthefall; Soilwork; Saosin; A Skylit Drive

Displaying posts 1 - 9 of 9
06:23 PM on 03/15/09
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Handraa's Avatar
Good review, except for a couple things,
The album was released on Eullogy Records,
and I think that you should have had ADTR in the RFYL section.
But good review.
10:53 AM on 03/18/09
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youenvydoug's Avatar
"The narrator battles the love and hatred he feels for this girl, and at the same time, the melodies and screams (between vocalist Austin McAuley and guitarist-vocalist John Copeland, respectively)"

Actually, this album was recorded with former co-vocalists Brian Calizini and Jason (I forgot). They both left the band during tour shortly after the album was put out.

Brian even took control of paddock parks former myspace for his new band. Who are recording with Tom Denney from ADTR.

01:53 PM on 03/18/09
Regular Member
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x13looDx's Avatar
soilwork and blessthefall and saosin and aa skylit drive!? sounds like that would be the perfect band
11:01 AM on 03/21/09
I don't give up, I let go.
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Whereisreggie's Avatar
Good band. Sounds exactly like ADTR. I mean the drummer used to be in the band too so I guess there is a correlation.
01:53 PM on 03/21/09
Registered User
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designerbandaid's Avatar
Yeah this bands old screamer bought some a day to remember b sides and started a band around them ha. Not too bad of a band...no idea how the new singer sounds...seems like eulogy doesn't do shit for their bands
09:50 AM on 10/13/09
Registered User
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No Avatar Selected
wat happened to Jason Neil? did he make another band
02:50 AM on 08/04/10
The one and only
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Amilleraz's Avatar
this cd has been primarily used to pump me up at the gym but over time I have really taken a liking to it. ADTR is my favorite band as of now but I had no idea of the correlations of the two until now. Always thought that they sounded similar tho
08:18 PM on 02/03/11
Inside of your heart always
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johnnyferris's Avatar
wat happened to Jason Neil? did he make another band
This is probably way late, but he's in We Are Defiance along with Brian. They're releasing their debut in March.
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