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 Cincinnati Entertainment Award nomination and the release of Let's Go Ride Bikes under their belt, Paperback have pulled themselves to the upper echelon of Ohio musicians by creating a sound all their own.
Let's Go Ride Bikes, the band's first proper studio release, contains fourteen 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 state 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 Rocket'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 cannot 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: www.paperbackmusic.net/media.php