Papertrigger are a young Philadelphia band that make Art Rock—you know, the muscular, orchestral, dense, surprising, clashing sound of young men understanding the chaos of the world. The group takes Radiohead and runs with it, occasionally appropriating a piano arpeggio here, and a blues-inspired chord progression there. Instrumentation, dense, complex and often dissonant, is obviously more important to the band than the vocals, which are often placed far back in the mix. But on standout tracks, such as opener “We Are Nations Now”, the group shows the dark rock muscle of a group like Muse. “The Inner Party” showcases singer Chris Manglos’ smooth and emotive voice; through a dark, minor key oppressiveness, the falling melody comes over like a more apathetic version of the Cold War Kids. Everything’s fine until the 11-minute closer, “Sidereal”, which stretches out past its natural length in waves of ambient drone. There’s plenty of potential here. We should just hope the band doesn’t follow its more indulgent whims on their soon-to-be-anticipated full length.
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// Notes from the Road
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