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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
The Paper Champions
The Paper Champions
Self-released

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Upon my cursory inquiry into The Paper Champions I headed straight for the best place to start sniffing around - their web address. On the surface of their website there are a few interesting clues to what type of music they play. But let's dig deeper, shall we?

1. There is an image of a heart that must be clicked on to open the site. Note that this same heart adorns the front cover of their eponymous three song EP. The heart appears not just once, but ten times over.

2. The Paper Champions were featured on Sad Songs Remind Me- The ninth chapter of the much despised Emo Diaries series from Deep Elm.

Make no mistake here. The Paper Champions are emo with a capital E. They mean it all, swear on their hearts and hope to die. I do not mean to say with so much sarcasm that The Paper Champions EP is without merit of any kind, but it bears a lot of the telltale signs of most stereotypical emo albums. There are the "pretty" sounds of dueling guitar lines, with the two-man vocals arranged slightly off-key. Subject matter bears the stain of hearts (ahem) and betrayal, not unfamiliar subjects to most music fans, but clichéd to most listeners who have grown beyond it as the focal point.

In all honesty the first track, "Words and Inaction" would not have been out of place on the Appleseed Cast album End of the Ring Wars, or on any Mineral album. "Burning Quiet" begins like an early Braid song, and it is these comparisons that demonstrate the problems with these songs. They are too formulaic and typical, unchallenging and unmemorable. The Paper Champions demonstrate a clear talent, but a need to give us something more than the clichéd. Maybe one day they will write their own equivalent to Mare Vitalis or Frame and Canvas- an equivalent, not an emulation- something fresh and also timeless, but until then I will pass. My heart just can't take it.

Reviewed by Jake M. Rizy
A contributing writer for LAS who lives in Arlington, Texas.

See other reviews by Jake M. Rizy

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