paperthreat EP Release Party

We here at OVRLD have been fans of paperthreat since
the beginning of our site. Early singles like “Vintage Walls” and “Conveyor” showed a band that had a great ear for melody and an urge to experiment with traditional rock band standards. With just four members, they actively incorporate trombone, trumpet, vibraphone and electronic beats on top of more traditional guitar/bass/drums elements. From their sound (and the noodling I’ve heard during sound checks at one of the four shows of theirs I’ve seen in the last year), it seems that most, if not all, of the members of the group have jazz training and are all quite talented musicians. This all manages to come through on the group’s second EP, Ghost Dance, which is seeing a release party tomorrow night.

paperthreat - Focus

First I want to get this out of the way: There isn’t anything on Ghost Dance that I find as immediately accessible as “Vintage Walls.” Though the record may be lacking a single of that magnitude, I think it is an overall huge leap forward for the group. The strength of the songwriting, the strength of the musicianship, and the willingness of the band to take risks (that often pay off). The above “Focus” is the standout track from the album for me. The horns are smooth and contrast nicely with the buzzing electronics. The sharp, staccato drumming contrasts with Arius Holifield’s elegant voice. It’s the kind of song that calms you down, while keeping the energy high. “Hourglass” follows that up with even more interesting sounds (buzzy distorted guitar cutting into soft ambient tones; vibraphone breakdown in the middle), and demonstrates that this group is getting quite comfortable with itself and its sound. And “Pompeii” shows guitarist Niko Bakulich making great strides in his songwriting. Sonically, the song mines the darker side of the paperthreat sound, but still is unmistakably of this group. By the end of the track, it’s developed from a loose experimental sound into a tight dance number. It’s a compelling song that ranks with the best the group has done.

All in all, Ghost Dance shows a band doing exciting things. I usually like to include comparisons to more popular acts so that you readers can have a sense of what to expect from a band’s sound, but I can’t think of a comparison for paperthreat. This is really original stuff. Be sure to catch paperthreat live sometime soon – if only to see their extensive onstage setup. As mentioned before, they will be having an EP release party tomorrow night (Wednesday, November 16th) at Cheer Up Charlie’s. Also on the bill are Migrant Kids, A Sky Jet Black, and OVRLD favorites Knifight. Keep an eye on their bandcamp site for details about the EP.

– Carter