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Gym Class Heroes: The Papercut ChroniclesThe Papercut Chronicles (2005)
Reviewer Rating: 2.5
Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Living in upstate New York, I can be the very first person to tell you that I don’t reside in an area renowned for its hip-hop. Most up here would sooner send their life savings to Toby Keith than they’d listen to that newfangled rap music. Well, Fueled By Ramen, also a label not renowned for its hip-hop acts, have put out The Papercut Chronicles, the first full-length album from Geneva’s Gym Class Heroes. The followup on The Papercut EP, these 18 songs have built on what was laid down there, but has anything new truly been added?
Something was funny she could tell by his behavior / Or the way he flamboyantly shook his hand when he’d wave to her / She thought nothing of it and just shoved it in the closet / Until the day word dripped out like a leaky faucet / Alberto was homosexual, I ain’t got nothing against it / But little Ronny Johnston and all his football player friends did / They always kicked his ass and called him fag and such and such / But they couldn’t wait to get to gym so they could really bust him up / The gym teacher never cared, he just joined in on the action / Made silly judgments and compared him to Michael Jackson.”It’s a really strong track, one that gives the listener something to think about. It almost seems a moot point however, because the only other track that stands out above the others is Schleprock’s freestyle, "We Just Freestylin’ Part 2." Schlep pulls some pretty crazy references out of nowhere, and it makes for a more interesting listen than a lot of the uninspired tracks found here.
After the extremely promising EP put out in January, this seems to be quite a letdown, considering the aspirations and expectations of lot of people held for it. It’s apparently going to take some time before another hip-hop group akin to the Roots can really make a dent in that sort of musical climate. There’s no true way to tell just what killed this release - maybe the length, the lack of energy...it’s entirely too hard to put a stamp on just why Gym Class Heroes regressed. It’s not to say this doesn’t make for an interesting listen at points; it’s just not the next stone on the path to a strong career for the foursome.
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