steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Paperplanes

Self-titled CDEP


Genres: indie rock, noise rock

email the band

Nov 22 - 28 2004

Little EPs like this are always getting sent to me by obscure indie rock bands, and quite often I'll find a diamond in the rough.  Such is the case with The Paperplanes, who threw me a cute little package of five songs in a plastic slip-pouch.  The design was slick, but the music was still a question mark.  That is, until I listened to it.

It's easy to see why The Paperplanes haven't been signed to an indie rock label yet - their sound definitely needs to be refined a bit - but these five songs certainly show the band's keenness for catchy indie rock songwriting.  Their music is fresh, hip-sounding, and quite memorable - the only problem is the lack of a cohesive "band" feeling - there is no trend in these songs that grabs you and gives you an overall sense of what The Paperplanes ARE.  

"Fever Blister" starts this EP off in a cool, New York-style vein, while "Constant Frustration" and "Mexico" are jumpy, poppy rock tunes reminiscent of Superchunk, and Clinic.  "Time Won't Build," on the other hand, is an airy, not-entirely-successful indie pop number, and "Live How We Live" is the epic finale, targeted mainly at the late-night hipster demographic.

As a modern indie rock disc, this EP succeeds - perhaps it's a bit derivative, but such things are excusable for a debut.  However, no matter how hard I try, I can't pick The Paperplanes out of a crowd; Modest Mouse, Sebadoh, even some lesser known bands... they all have unique, recognizable sounds - this band is going to need some time to establish an individual style.  For now, I can definitely see a label showing some interest in The Paperplanes; with a solid EP like this under their belts, it's hard to imagine them staying unsigned for long.


Fun Fact: More on paper planes!

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 5 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2003]