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Gym Class Heroes - The Papercut (Cover Artwork)

Gym Class Heroes

Gym Class Heroes: The PapercutThe Papercut (2004)
Decaydance

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The way I look at the modern world of hip-hop, there are three very different camps. First, we have those artists groomed by their labels only for commercial success, skating by with minimal talent because of solid beats and hooks laid down for them. You know the type: Ja Rule, Nelly, and Chingy. Th.
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The way I look at the modern world of hip-hop, there are three very different camps. First, we have those artists groomed by their labels only for commercial success, skating by with minimal talent because of solid beats and hooks laid down for them. You know the type: Ja Rule, Nelly, and Chingy. The other group of mainstream artists are decidedly more talented and subsequently will have much longer careers. This includes Dr. Dre, Nas, And Wu-tang among others. Lastly, we have the world of underground hip-hop. Boasting such artists as Brother Ali, Eyedea & Abilities, and Illogic, underground hip-hop artists often lay down lyrics full of social conscience rather than just choosing to talk about blunts and bitches (not that there's anything wrong with that). So now we have upstate New York's Gym Class Heroes, who reside in the last of those camps.

Gym Class Heroes have laid down a very solid four-song EP entitled The Papercut EP, which serves as a precursor to The Papercut Chronicles set for release in February. Immediately you'll notice this is no conventional hip-hop album, as Gym Class Heroes use live instruments to back up their flow, rather than relying solely on looped samples and beats. You'll find solid guitar rhythms, crisp drum beats, and melodic basslines, all flowing together and laying down an original and solid base for the lyrics to be put upon. At times the instruments swirl, giving off a very spacey feel, such as in "The Boomerang Theory," and other times it's a more bouncy beat, making you bob your head and tap your foot. In addition to the solid musicianship, the flow and lyrics are nothing to be forgotten either.

The EP's opener "Taxi Driver" cleverly tells a story using an entire lot of different band names, from Scraps And Heart Attacks to Midtown; "In between the frowns and scraps and heart attacks / And I remember, I seen her ass in early November on a Thursday / Taking back Sunday for a refund / She shot a wink like 'No hard feelings' / Then she jetted to Brazil." It's quite clever, and it's got a real smooth vibe to it. Singer Shleprock has a sly, clever sense about him that's displayed through the entire EP, each song just as strong and well-structured as the others.

The best example of the clever lyrical play is on the EP's last track, "Makeout Club," where Shleprock tells the story of various encounters he's had with ex-girlfriends; "And after that there was Lisa / You know she had the twin sister Theresa / I bumped into her mad cans gettin' pizza / The greatest night of my life / Shlep killed two birds with one stone." The song has an excellent hook as well, rounding out a very solid song.

This a very solid debut EP from a creative hip hop outfit. Though, being that it's only an EP, it can get repetitive after an extended amount of repeated listens. Just a minor issue, though, on an otherwise quality EP. I look forward to seeing the how the full-length pans out in February, but in the meantime, this should hold you over.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
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Anonymous (February 27, 2005)

Dude, it's "bumped into them".

Anonymous (February 27, 2005)

To the reviewer:
You didn't correctly state the lyrics to "Makeout Club" when you tried to quote them. As a result we see from some comments that this unprofesional mistake is hurting the band's reputation. For the record, the line is

And after that there was Lisa / You know she had the twin sister Theresa / I bumped into her *at Cam's* (not "mad cans") gettin' pizza / The greatest night of my life / *Shlep's the rock that killed two birds* (not "Shlep killed two birds with one stone").

No time to comment on the rest of the review or the above posts.

8dollarclarinetsolo (February 8, 2005)

agreed, that MC Chris and MC Paul Barman are the best novelty white rappers out there.

Anonymous (February 3, 2005)

what the fuck?!?!?! this is PUNKnews.org. what is this shit doin on here?!

Anonymous (February 3, 2005)

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Jesse (February 1, 2005)

And yet, I have a fairly loyal following as well as a good relationship with most of the staff and editors. Doesn't it make your head spin just wondering how wonderfully I pull it off?

Archangel (January 31, 2005)

"The exact reason why you should not be a staff reviewer. Some people do take music seriously, as well as this website. Especially the reviews. You take nothing seriously. You are not a professional, and while this site isn't exactly professional, at least those that are tagged with the staff label take their "job" seriously. You deserve to be a twerp in the comments section that tries to tick people off, and thats all you are, and ever will be."

Well-put.

Anonymous (January 31, 2005)

Eyedea & Abilities - that's where its at

A suburban white kid

Anonymous (January 31, 2005)

If you enjoy Gym Class Heroes, check out
www.purevolume.com/escapethrougheast
If you dont like GCH, you can at least give Escape Through East a listen, that would be neat

Anonymous (January 31, 2005)

shit-hop?

Anonymous (January 31, 2005)

The new Dalek record is stunning. The music's kinda beautiful in a weird way. Great stuff.

On a side-note, MC Lars fucking sucks. 'The Laptop EP' made me cringe...good thing I got it for free.

Anonymous (January 31, 2005)

Fuck ya'll Jay-Z's runnin this rap shit... Freeway is runnin' this rap shit...

WATCH OUT, WE RUN NEW YAWK. (KRS One sample)

-BSD

Anonymous (January 30, 2005)

fuck all this shit

Biggie smalls is the illest.

Anonymous (January 30, 2005)

I'm not pretending to know anything hip-hop/rap/whatever related.

With that said, this sounds pretty awful. I feel, in my uneducated opinion, that a genre so focused on spoken word, that the lyrics become the highest priority. If these lyrics are the standouts, that's pretty terrible.

The new Sage Francis cd is incredible though. I'm sure I'll get a bunch of comments proving me wrong or whatnot, but I don't really care. That's all.

-duped

Anonymous (January 30, 2005)

forget MC Lars, what about MC Chris or Mc Paul Barman?
now there are some good white novelity rappers. seriously

actually for being what it is MC Lars isn't really that bad, just don't take it seriously, its a fucking joke people.

Anonymous (January 30, 2005)

"Everything I do and say here is not serious. If you treat what I say here as serious, you have issues"

The exact reason why you should not be a staff reviewer. Some people do take music seriously, as well as this website. Especially the reviews. You take nothing seriously. You are not a professional, and while this site isn't exactly professional, at least those that are tagged with the staff label take their "job" seriously. You deserve to be a twerp in the comments section that tries to tick people off, and thats all you are, and ever will be.

ThriveToFailure (January 30, 2005)

"MC Lars has absolutely no talent. "

True.

I have no musical talent, so I hardly ever hear a record and think "I could do that better with my arms bound by my sides and wedged deep inside some fat guy's ass..." - but that's exactly what I thought when I heard MC Lars.

So I wasn't speaking in his favour - my point was that he probably wouldn't even get attention from AP.net if he didn't mention them in a song.

Anonymous (January 30, 2005)

i perfer tri hop

like portishead

Anchors (January 29, 2005)

Unrelated, but score's for Public Enemy, and Flavor Flav's clock collection.

Anonymous (January 29, 2005)

Thats the exact kind of thing I mean. That makes NO SENSE to me at all. I understand that view, but I cant accept it, and likewise, the music becomes worthless to me because of it. To each their own, but thats not mine.

And saying I like no rap was a bit extreme...I can count the rap artists/groups I like on one hand though.

Shootyz Groove is cool, Talib Qweli...um, i cant spell his name i think, but hes cool, Schooly D (and not just because of Aquateen) and I generally dont like Outkast, but B.O.B rocks my socks.

Anonymous (January 29, 2005)

The reason I can't listen to gangsta rap or a lot of hip hop is simply because the lyrics play into the idea that people are worthless and only good for buying shit and being "tough". As educated suburban kids, we can laugh at that since our mission in society is merely to maintain our decency... But in the ghetto, kids are raised with that mentality... That the more you get, the better. You're not a good person because you do good things or care about people, but because you have lots of money. Easy for us to laugh at, but not at all funny if you think about it.

-BSD

Anchors (January 29, 2005)

Since you put it that way, I completely understand where you're coming from.

Very well put.

Anonymous (January 29, 2005)

I didnt say white kids. I said Suburban kids. It doesnt matter what color you are to comprehend something. It just pisses me of when all these kids talk about how real or hard some rappers are when they are saying it from the comfort of there mommies couch in the middle of there generic home in anywhereswille, USA. I bet some get it, but I also bet that alot of it is for fashion, or to try and show some sign of social awareness. My 3 siblings, and now my 2 roommates, listen to nothing but rap and I can tell you the difference from observing the two quite easily. Lets put it to you this way....my brother is white and my roommate is black, and my roommate is the one I would say is in it for fashion, while my little brother is the one who gets it. My roommate has his mom send him money to see concerts and pay his rent while he sits on the couch and bumps the game talking about how real he is. My brother just turned 17, he works for his own money, cant afford to go to concerts, but spends everyday hunting down wayward freestyles wherever he can. My family lives in a rough environment, I think he gets it, this kid is from some Californian suburb and cries to his parents when he needs a new 6X shirt.

Thats the kind of stupid shit im talking about.

Anchors (January 29, 2005)

A few things:

- MC Lars has absolutely no talent. That said, it makes sense for AP to hype him, along with Say Anything, Yellowcard, and whatever flavor of the week it is over there now.

- The whole "white kids can't truly understand hip-hop" arguement is ridiculous. What makes some black kid from Jamaica Queens mroe knowledgable about The Chronic than me? Maybe I've listened to it more than he has, maybe I've dissected every beat and sample. Race has nothing to do with being able to comprehend an album.

- Speaking of Dre, the beat in 'Still D.R.E.' has tempted me to build a shrine in his honor.

Anonymous (January 29, 2005)

8 mile bitches!!!!

-the other baldwin brother

ThriveToFailure (January 29, 2005)

I'm happy to admit I know nothing about hip-hop, rap, whatever. Not my thing, I'm just a clueless geeky white guy...

But to the dude who asked about MC Lars - I think AP.net is bigging him up cuz he mentions them in a song. It's free advertising for them, lazy fuckers.

Anonymous (January 29, 2005)

This whole review and comment section is one big ol steaming pile of awkwardness. I dont know anything about rap, and I quite frankly dont want to. Thats not where I came from, and I couldnt relate. Its almost comical to me, so i just shut it out. Trying to make someone listen to rap who isnt in to it, or understand it, is kinda like trying to explain to a middle eastern person which is the right god. If some people would start drawing some damn lines in there lives and stop trying to be everything to everyone we would have less kids in the suburbs "totally understanding" the chronic. Right.

I dont know where im going with this.

If there was a point, it was something along the lines of, I wish everyone would stop pretending that they get rap, cuz I bet you dont. I know I fucking dont, and I really dont mind. Ill take a Nation of Ulysses or a Born Against over.....well whoever you were thinking of namedropping. If you lived that life, then by all means have your fun and ill have mine.

-!GreenVandal!
feeling like the only kid that still doesnt like any hip hop or rap

Anonymous (January 29, 2005)

"nothing to do with the reviewer but i love white kids pretending they know anything about hiphop. its cute really.

I love black kids who pretend they know anything about punk rock.

-BSD"

actually i'm white, but living near detroit my whole life i've watched white kids from rich neighborhoods claim to know all about hiphop, which is what the idiots on this board talking about how fucking amazing this band is seem to be. but hell to be honest i've worked at st andrews, which is abotu the biggest hip hop venue in the country for 4 years and everytime del or jurassic 5 play, its 90% white so maybe they do know whats up. who the fuck knows, actually who cares since this isn't a hiphop site. point being, gym class heroes are not good in any way shape or form, they appeal to white kids who listen to emo and don't know any better.

-Skolar X

Anonymous (January 29, 2005)

Keep using my tag every time you want to say something to insite internet arguments. It just inflames my ego.

Thanks,
Have a BostonBeatdown
BSD

(GayXCore East Coast, mothafuckas! I WANNA SEE SUM MOTHAFUCKIN TEETH KICKED IN!)

Anonymous (January 29, 2005)

I gotta check out Heiruspecs...I've heard things..
As far as 'hip hop' goes, I haven't heard anything recently that is that great so I've been listening to a lot of 90's stuff and old school groups. Sage is great, can't wait to see his show next month...I'm also feeling artists/groups like Non phixion, Jedi Mind, Natural Elements, Immortal technique, Lost boyz..etc, But i also appreciate other 'rap' artists like Jadakiss, Nas, Cam...
off topic, but why does ap.net keep hyping mc lars? Are they trying to get him to blow up so they can say they are the reason he is where he is?

Anonymous (January 29, 2005)

nothing to do with the reviewer but i love white kids pretending they know anything about hiphop. its cute really.< i>

I love black kids who pretend they know anything about punk rock.

-BSD

Anonymous (January 29, 2005)

The two greatest white rappers I've heard in a long time.
www.purevolume.com/Atmosphere
www.purevolume.com/LegacyNJ

jamespastepunk (January 28, 2005)

Believe the hype, guys, GCH are worth your time live.

Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

Everyone's spokes are bent.

- Kirby

Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

nothing to do with the reviewer but i love white kids pretending they know anything about hiphop. its cute really.

inagreendase (January 28, 2005)

Eh, it's fun. You can't say that for a whole lot of acts doing this.

Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

BSD, I wouldn't really think of it as a race issue, but more of a genre thing.

Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

Nothing wrong with "bling and bitches" lyrics for you when it's black guys, and you figure they're stupid, so you let them slide, yet Bane can't write?

Fuck you for lowering your standards just so you can say you relate to "the blackman". It's covert racism at it's finest.

-BSD

Icapped2pac (January 28, 2005)

I have both Afu Ra CDs. They've got a bunch of Premo beats on them, so, depsite his below-average MCing, you know I had to pick them shits up.

As for Heiruspecs... I think I've heard of them, but never actually heard them. I know I know, how can I be the hip-hop expert, right? Well, rest assured I'll be checking them out soon. What labels/other groups are they associated with? Because, as you may know, in hip-hop, it's all about who you roll with and who put you on.

Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

Those lyrics remind me a lot of Lifter Puller.

Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

jesse-

believe it or not, i respect your opinion, and find your reviews to be well written, some are even well thought out, although some are obvious attempts to rip whatever band a new asshole. and i'm not exactly serious here either, life's too short to actually get upset about bullshit like this. it's somewhat fun to bitch back and forth though, and i almost understand your need to be a prick just to get a reaction, i mean, look how well it works. i still think you're pretentious though, and the velvet teen still sucks...

anchors-

jesus dude, get of jesse's dick. YOU are the truly pathetic one, and while i may come off looking 'dumb' it's not my intention to sit here and show everyone how truly brilliant i am, because i'm not. i know how hard it is to "read through" all these posts. i mean reading is so difficult... maybe jesses should tattoo his latest reviews to his taint so you can read them while licking his asshole... and, of course, the velvet teen will be on in the background.

-justin

Anchors (January 28, 2005)

Jesse and Icapped, if you haven't heard him, check out Afu-Ra.

'Life Force Radio,' specifically.

Jesse (January 28, 2005)

Unfamiliar with People Under the Stairs. But I definitely respect your opinion of hip-hop. Aesop Rock can eat it, and Sage Francis has some good rhymes but I can't feel it on a regular basis. Have you heard the new Heiruspecs yet? I'm telling you man, it's where it's at.

Icapped2pac (January 28, 2005)

As the self-proclaimed (as of now) hip-hop expert at punknews, I must declare that, although Jesse is a dickwad, he is 100% correct about rap and hip-hop. To put it in a more concise perspective, one of the greatest MCs of all time, KRS-One, once said "rap is something you do, hip-hop is something you live". Motherfuckers like Nelly, Ja Rule, and Cam'ron fake the lifestyle of hip-hop, and basically shit on it for their own personal gain. And while Sage Francis or Aesop Rock don't fit in the same category, to me they're just as shitty. I just can't feel their styles. Like Guru said, "it's mostly the voice that gets you up" and those two cats have some of the most annoying voices and flows this side of Eminem and 2pac. If you want top-notch true-school hip-hop, check out People Under The Stairs or the new De La Soul. I could go on and on, but I need a nap.

As for this band, I dont know since I havent heard it. But then again, what I know of them doesn't give me any initiative to check them out, either. So I guess I give it a 5 for indifference.

Long live Premo.

Anchors (January 28, 2005)

Jesse,

I agree with your definitions of rap and hip hop, but didn't feel it all that important to differentiate between the styles just for this one review. And I couldn't really fit Shleprock anywhere in here, but I did think about it.

Everyone else,

In case you haven't noticed, Jesse doesn't care about your opinions of him. You're wasting his time, your own time, and mine because I have to sift through that bullshit to find people who are actually talking about this album. It's dumb to carry on like this, and as someone speaking from outside the arguement I'll tell you; Jesses not the one that comes out looking dumb.

Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

these guys played detroit the other night, and they were terrible. i love a lot of "underground" hip hop, or backpack hip hop, whatever you want to call it but their mc is totally talentless. go pick up hte new sage francis album when it drops in a couple weeks if you want to see what underground hip hop is all about

Jesse (January 28, 2005)

Let me refer back to my post that you responded to, which, undoubtedly, answers everything you tried to bring up:

"Just means that you're as sad and pathetic as me."

I acknowledge the fact that I do care. It makes me sad and pathetic. Yes. I acknowledged this. In fact, you can check the time that I posted these responses to see how prompt and how much of a life I do not have.

"Everything I do and say here is not serious. If you treat what I say here as serious, you have issues."

Again, note this one important fact. Did you not even read my response? This is all a huge joke? "I'm cooler than you." Did you believe I actually meant that? Oh lordy, you're arguing against a guy who's just making fun of you.

"you're like every other tiny-penis-havin tool"

Hey now, the fact that I am not well endowed has nothing to do with my opinions on this website. I support just as much stuff as I bash on this website, but none of you ever acknowledge it. Look at my list of reviews. Just look at it. It's staggered. So before you come barking at me for being a hater, make sure you do your research, chum.

Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

jesse-

first of all, i'm not 'cool' and neither are you, so let's not even go there. second, i'm not angry or pissed about what you say, i just think you're a reactionary asshole who says things just to be a dick, and/or because you think you're funny. you're like every other tiny-penis-havin tool on here, you have more to say about things you 'don't like' than things you do. and for that, you're a prick. all you fanboys are the same, you care more about having your opinion heard than the music itself. and as far as people caring what you have to say, i'm sure some people do. of course, people probably care what i'm saying right now too. people are like that, they care when someone agrees with them. and in the end, i bet more people agree with me that you're a dick than agree with you that the velvet teen rules. i''m sure your response to this will be infinitley clever and witty beyond comprehension, filled with your famous pretending to not care at all what others think. unfortunatley any response proves in and of itself that you do care. anyway, you're right about one thing, i apparently care way too much to have written all this, so i gracefully bow out of this incredibly lame, half-assed flame war.

-justin

Inspection12e (January 28, 2005)

this sucks. the only thing that could save FBR is a cadillac blindside reformation.

Jesse (January 28, 2005)

Hey, Anonymous ??

Some people do give a shit about what I have to say. So neener neener. You're just upset because I'm cooler than you. It's okay, it happens to me often. Oh, and guess what? This is just a webzine. The fact that you're that angry about what I'm saying in a pretend magazine? Just means that you're as sad and pathetic as me.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Everything I do and say here is not serious. If you treat what I say here as serious, you have issues.

Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

"they say we wont fit in the indie scene, cuz our dicks wont fit into girl jeans" fucking classic.
otherwise this is poo. give me j-5 or give me death.

-the other baldwin brother

Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

i read this website everyday and this is the first time i've ever posted... and i only did it to say SHUT THE FUCK UP JESSE!!! nobody gives a shit what you think. it's nice of you to spend your valuable jack-off time writing those pretentious, uninsightful, reactionary, slabs of crap you call reviews, but no one cares. so go listen to the velvet teen and cry, you're far too 'scene' for me... not even pitchfork is as full of themselves as you. and btw, i realize this type of reaction is probably just what you want and makes you feel all special cause you get attention, but it doesn't make you any less of a herb... go get some pussy.

Jesse (January 28, 2005)

There is a distinct genre barrier between "rap music" and "hip-hop music." It's the same way that there's a difference between "indie" and "emo." Really, genre wise, there isn't much difference. It's just all about the way it's carried.

Rapping is what all emcees/lyricists/rappers do. But "rap" music is generally what you get in the Top 40. It's your crunked up beats, it's your Nelly, Lil' John, Ludacris. "Hip-hop" is what the extension of the late 70s early 80s stuff was. Sugar Hill Gang, Run DMC, etc. Hip-hop is Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The Roots, and bigger acts like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Kanye West all hit closer to hip-hop than rap (actually Dre and Snoop generally get put in "gangsta rap," but true early 90s gangsta rap is a lot more hip-hop than Top 40 "rap.")

Confusing? Of course. But if you're going to make me admit that "emo" and "screamo" are actualy genres of music and different from "indie," then you have to follow my rules when it comes to rap and hip-hop.

ElVaquero (January 28, 2005)

this sounds fucking awful. i remember that their old demo wasn't bad at all but this new stuff is absolutely terrible. oh, and rap is the music of hip hop culture. rap = hip hop. aesop = horseshit? nope, sorry. my favorite lyricist of all time and a damn good producer too. oh, and (namedrop) my cousin manages him.

Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

Part shut the fuck up jesse.

Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

""And after that there was Lisa / You know she had the twin sister Theresa / I bumped into her mad cans gettin' pizza / "

I was actually semi-interested in this untill I read that line.

richbomb (January 28, 2005)

This CD is solid, the other tracks that will be on the full length are really good as well. All these kids are better musicans and write better songs than about 90% of any hardcore band, not to mention that they are good dudes. Whatever you want to call this: rap, hip/hop, indie blah blah blah its good. Get a clue, open your mind. Sure, it doesn't boast the ingenius song writing of say a CARRY ON or TERROR but it's definitely more interesting.

Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

You do realize that there is a difference between rap music and hip-hop music, right? You do realize that?

I disagree.

I agree with everything else though. If those are the best lines on the album, then someone just kill these guys off now.

Jesse (January 28, 2005)

Part VI:

All the scores are supposed to be ones.

Part VII:

Can you tell that I'm bored and have no life?

Jesse (January 28, 2005)

Part V:

No mention of the actualSchleprock? C'mon, at least get all the punk references in.

Jesse (January 28, 2005)

Part III:

Those lines are terrible.

Part IV:

Go listen to Heiruspecs.

Jesse (January 28, 2005)

Wost. Group. Ever.

These guys are fucking shit. They're riding the whole, "Oh, it's cool to be into emo/indie and rap" trend. They play it out too. Signed to Fueled By Ramen, and then there's the song where all they do is namedrop indie/emo groups. They fit in the fourth category, which is a travesty for the whole genre of hip-hop, with groups like Mel Gibson and the Pants. Note: this is not hip-hop. It is a mere farce. Shit, I even like Aesop Rock better, and that fool is horeshit in and of itself.

Part II:

You do realize that there is a difference between rap music and hip-hop music, right? You do realize that? Your first category is rap music. Not hip-hop. Now run along, and come back once you take a crash course in hip-hop 101.

SethCohen (January 28, 2005)

Nothing against this band or Atmosphere, but when do you think Drive-Thru and Victory will sign a hip hop group

jamespastepunk (January 28, 2005)

Said quote is on the full length.

adamfromohio (January 28, 2005)

Is it true there's a line on here which reads:
"they say we wont fit in the indie scene/cause our dicks wont fit in girls jeans"?

because that makes me laugh regardless

-adamfromohio

theundergroundscene (January 28, 2005)

Eh, I dunno.

Give me some fucking Aesop Rock and I've got all the underground hiphop I need.

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