Paper Lions - My Friends

2004 gründeten die Brüder John (Gesang, Gitarre) und Rob MacPhee (Bass), ihr Nachbar Colin Buchanan (Gitarre) und David MacDonald (Schlagzeug), den sie an der High School kennengelernt hatten, die Chucky Danger Band, die sich später in Paper Lions umbenennen sollte. 

"My Friends" ist das mittlerweile fünfte Album des kanadischen Quartetts, das zusammen mit dem Produzenten Howard Redekopp (The New Pornographers, Tegan And Sara) entstand und nach Schwierigkeiten mit ihrer letzten Plattenfirma über ihr eigenes Label (als CD, LP oder Download) veröffentlicht wird. 

Geboten wird hier Chorgesang, der die Beach Boys im Hinterkopf hat ("Ghostwriters"), zu sommerlichem Gitarrenpop, der mal in Richtung Jangle- oder Powerpop driftet und für Fans von Fountains Of Wayne, Vampire Weekend, Nada Surf und Weezer geeignet scheint.     

Like many bands that fall under the indie pop umbrella, it is easy to hear the influence of great bands that came before, but Paper Lions filters their love of other artists with plenty of sunshine and that happy innocent voice of youth. “Ghostwriter” is simply beautiful, a song that could be a Pet Sounds B-side. “Pull Me In” is the bubbly pop song that will make you dance around the room first, then ponder the relationship the lyrics portray. “So Lonely” flat rocks it out, begging for some most excellent air drumming.
(The Owl Mag)

(...) It’s a shame too, because their gentle mix of grungy guitars, tight harmonies and sugary pop melodies is a real treat. Singer John MacPhee’s voice operates in the high-but-not-quite falsetto territory favoured by Matthew Caws and Rivers Cuomo and like those gentlemen, has a knack for wrapping itself around intelligent, rolling hooks. The opening ‘Bodies In The Winter’ is a perfect example, with MacPhee’s voice drifting over the top of stabbing guitars, handclaps and a chunky, rumbling bass before its fist-pumping pop-rock chorus.
‘Little Liar’ is dreamier still. The best Real Estate song that band decided not to write, and with a noticeably 60’s pop chorus, it is the record’s most laid-back, unassuming moment and features that most lovable of traits: verses that are just as smile-inducingly catchy as their chorus partners. ‘Pull Me In’ too has a retro quality, bobbing along on a rhythm so bouncy it can’t help but bring to mind Hall & Oats’ ‘You Make My Dreams’, albeit a Hall & Oates that grew up on Weezer.
All of this is to say, that what My Friends has in winning melodies, it lacks in any genuine originality. It is not an album that attempts to reinvent a genre. But that is ok. Not all albums need to. That Paper Lions are here, in 2013, with new material is more than enough of a reason to celebrate. In My Friends they have an album destined to quickly regain the lost ground. Let’s not have to wait so long for a follow-up next time though, fellas.
(When The Gramophone Rings)









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