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The Paper Chase

Now You Are One of Us

(Kill Rock Stars; US: 6 Jun 2006; UK: 22 May 2006)

Not to be confused with that John Houseman flick, the Paper Chase commence this record with the eerie “It’s Out There and It’s Gonna Get You” that leads into the initially artsy, Spoon-meets-Primus-meets-Roger Waters “We Know Where You Sleep”. It’s a very deliberate but quite strong tune. Meanwhile, equally challenging and moody is “The Kids Will Grow Up to Be Assholes”, which is a meaty, prog-like tune that glides along. The Paper Chase never get old, tired, or boring, especially with the quirky but brilliant “Wait Until I Get My Hands on You” and the tension-building, string-laced “You Will Never Take Me Alive”, which sounds like a cross between the Arcade Fire and the Boomtown Rats. Some efforts are basically interludes between longer pieces, like the bizarre but effective “The Most Important Part of Your Body”. While there are no clear highlights, the album is filled with very consistently strong numbers, including the piano-led “You’re One of Them Aren’t You?” and the funky “…And All the Candy You Can Eat”. Although perhaps difficult to get into, it’s difficult not to admire.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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