The Paper Champions – Weekend of Compromise / 2004 Reason Y Records / 13 Tracks / http://www.thepaperchampions.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / Reviewed 28 September 2004
In a school of bass playing that comes directly from Geddy Lee, Jason’s bass lines to open up “Weekend of Compromise” are intricate, setting the tone of the track as well as providing an emotive force behind the track that just wouldn’t be the same without the line. Where “The Selfish Kind” suffers slightly from a lack of innovation in terms of repetition of guitar lines (instead of varying iterations), the double-vocal attack of the Jason’s make up for it. The opening strains of “Downtown and Out” have a Billie Joe-styled vocal inflection and a “New York Minute”-like bass line to make an incredibly heart-wrenching track. Ending “Downtown and Out” with a slightly disharmonious double-vocal, the track adds a little bit to the reality of a crowded downtown, with its myriad of differing noises. Continuing the early-nineties sound that mixes Matthew Sweet, Green Day, and The Spin Doctors, The Paper Champions are able to whip all these different genres into something that will no doubt garner a massive number of fans in the current period.
Each track on “Weekend of Compromise” immediately provokes a gut reaction of me, usually of dislike because of the new ground that the band breaks. I have to personally get acclimated to the large jumps the band makes, even if they are talented enough to change gears without much visible weakness. Fitting perfectly between The Movielife, The Early November, and Amber Pacific, The Paper Champions stand head and shoulders amongst their contemporaries because of their incredible musicianship. Where the double and triple-part harmonies can be done relatively easily, the impressive interplay that the Jasons have with Chris (guitar) and Brad (drums) far outstrips many bands currently on the touring circuit.
Still, “Weekend of Compromise” has a few minor issues that need to be shown; mainly, the emphasis on the slower-tempo for most of their tracks on the disc make the entity that is the disc lag at time. A more uptempo track would do much to combat this lag – even something like “Remember This”, a track not incredibly fast but intense and dense beyond belief, helps this minor issue. “Burning Quiet”, the longest track on the disc, is the Aeneid for The Paper Champions, as they move back and forth through different tempos, lulling individuals into a false sense of security and then rocking their brains out with the speedy chorus. The Paper Champions may not have a radio track like “Hand Grenade” or “Cute Without the E”, but they put together an album that is solid – lets see if The Movielife or Taking Back Sunday could say that.
Top Tracks: Burning Quiet, The Selfish Kind