John Congleton has left the Paper Chase behind in favor of the Nighty Nite but, by the man’s own admission, this new outfit ain’t gonna shock or surprise ‘cause Congleton has a distinctive style that is hard to mute. Of course, if you’ve never heard of the Paper Chase and were to stumble upon this four-song EP you’d probably be amused, maybe even surprised. Congleton’s aesthetic is decidedly dark, left-of-center, dramatic, intelligent, disturbing, melodic. It’s perfect psychotic pop––as evidenced on the opening “Dimes in the Dimples” and “In My Hospital Gown”, which is deeply lysergic and this close to the Beatles’ “Piggies”. “This Silly Bag” is a weak spot on the collection, three minutes that interrupts dark pleasures of “Dimes” and “Hospital Gown” and the closing, Stephen Merritt-penned “Meaningless” doesn’t quite work. This would have been an excellent single but instead is a so-so EP. Here’s to seeing what Congleton can do with a full-length.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.
"PopMatters (est. 1999) is a respected source for smart long-form reading on a wide range of topics in culture. PopMatters serves as…READ the article