June 30, 2009

Paper Scissors
Paper Scissors

Fairbanks, AK
Recorded and mixed by Pat Fitzgerald at 10th Plane Studios | Mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Studios

Straight out of Fairbanks comes the genre-unspecific Paper Scissors with their debut self-titled release. You can try and label them indie rock but as soon as you do, the trio of Craig Brooks, Issac Paris and Ryan Schmidt break off into a fusion of blues and rhythm. Paper Scissors echoes undeniable influence by the likes of The Smiths and David Byrne, while Brooks’ beautifully off-kilter vocals croon with Morrissey undertones.

The album is stacked with thoughtful lyrics and inventive songs, each with its own personality and air of distinction. The track “Drinkin’ in the Summer” makes you want to do just that with its Beach Boys-on-acid sound, and “Save the Last Dance” brings you back to reality with an old school electric guitar punk riff and high-pitched backup vocals. Paper Scissors keeps you on your feet throughout the entire album, switching from mellow, hollowed-out songs dripping with psychedelia to upbeat head bangers and crowd movers. It is impossible to stay still while listening to “No Business Bluegrass” and “Poor Mother,” as you might even hop in your vehicle just to create a car chase down a long highway using the tunes as your soundtrack.

Paper Scissors reeks thick of organs, synthesizers and drums, and the startling inclusion of the accordion – heavy on many of its 17 tracks. The instrument’s use in “Ballad of Tessa McClain,” “Bad Man,” and “Short Neck vs. Long Arm” create the dreamlike state of strolling through Paris or Florence in search for the perfect pasta dish with a side of magic mushrooms. The drum solo in “Dusty Cupboards” is downright crazy, and the key track “The Subdominant” is a beautiful mix of attention-demanding electric beats and crushing cymbals – with the perfect blend of water-logged synths and the colorful image-inducing chorus of “The phone is alive!”

The indie rock psychedelic scene is coming into its own and never before has it seen the likes of Paper Scissors. Original and innovative in its own right, Paper Scissors is an album for your collection.
-Lisa Perron

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