If you’ve frequented our page within the last several weeks, there is no doubt you have seen and heard the buzz about the progressive hardcore band Papertowns. hailing from Phoenix, Arizona. The band was brought to light in our community by our faithful leader, Brandon Jones. If there is one thing I have learned from my years here at IVM it is that when Brandon gets excited about a band, you owe it to yourself to give them a listen.
“Passion/Aggression” starts off with Limbless, which can best be described, “Through a lense of ambiance, aggression, and passion”. The track instantly brings to mind the late Facedown Records favorite, Hands. The song thrives on it’s ability to create polarizing moments of beauty and aggression. One moment the listener will be lulled into a dream-like state before thick-as-molasses breakdowns shake the listener back into submission.
Hand finds the group mixing the heavy moments in with melody rather than compromising one for the other as the bass keeps things crunchy while the guitar stays as airy as ever. Towards the end of the song, the band throws in a curveball and include clean vocals that share a striking resemblance to Hands’ own Shane Ochsner.
Dirt is perhaps the most fluctuating song on the record. It weaves its’ way in and out of heavy and melody, back and forth like the ocean tides. Even in the melodic moments Dirt manages to carry a certain weight to it. For instance, during the bridge section where vocalist Pedritto Barros shouts, “there’s another side of me /let it free /these things stay hiding /inside of me. inside /i can’t let my past control me /apathy keeps me sliding ” the atmosphere feels crushing and unrelenting and Jordan Leal tremolo picks his guitar into oblivion.
The all too short album concludes with Reborn. A little before halfway into the track, an absolutely colossal breakdown comes out of left field to kick in the listener’s teeth before fading into the most touching section on the record. Ambient guitars swirl and drone as the level of passion skyrockets. Barros asks, “where have I gone? / I have left my home / I’m shaking. I’m cold. I’m all alone. / I am so lost. it’s been too long since I have felt you. since I left you./ forgive me. forgive me. / reborn. im no longer limbless”.
Overall: The only real downer on the record is the fact that it left me wanting more. Everything felt just a bit too crammed into 4 songs, so I am very excited about the upcoming full length to see how things sound when fully fleshed out and left to develop. The bottom line is that Papertowns. is a young band with a massive amount of talent. If they are able to accomplish this much in just a few songs, their debut full length record should get them places.
RIYL: Hands | A Hope For Home | Hundredth