Honesty, humor and realness ooze from this EP by Spencer Scott and co.
Based up in Newcastle (NSW), they describe themselves as Pop/Punk and whilst genre-casting can be helpful to quickly gauge interest in a project..in this case it’s doing a disservice to the band. Paper Thin are not like the music a tag such as pop-punk would conjure up for most people.
No…we need a new term for this and the many other artists popping up in our post Smith-Street/Courtney Barnett scene. (*that’s not the phrase I want to use. I will come up with something better.)
Super aussie vocals, jangly guitars and poppy arrangements centered around a few hopeful chords are supported by energetic (but not punk!) drums that keep the pace moving at a casual and fun pace.
The opening song ‘State of your life mate’ is a sharp, short little tune about moving back into your parents place. In just over 1 minute it feels like Spencer has told a story without needing to expand on the details.
Following tracks ‘Sixteen Months’ and ‘Hotel Spencer’ go much deeper into the tale telling/narrative side of what makes Paper Thin work. You can relate to the songs either through connection to the subject or at the very least..in a way it feels like a mate telling you a story.. eg. “and you took me outside so we could be alone, and you shook your head and said I should just go home, I said do what you gotta do and then you kissed me. Kissed me like you were sorry.”
Production is simple, guitars, bass, drums, all pretty straight forward. The mix is generous in keeping Spencer’s vocals up front and center. Everything else is crisp and clear, no great tricks or effects at play here.
Highlight track is the closing song ‘Haircut’ which carries a fair bit of energy and feeling despite it essentially being about letting someone give you a haircut, them screwing it up and then taking matters into your own hands…and stuffing it up more. The tag at the end of the tune ‘I really fucked up the side burns’ is repeated along with a group vocal in the background and everything feeling like it’s reaching a peak.
When it’s done, I was left with the realization that this was a stupid song which I will be singing to myself for ages because of that damn line. Well played. Well played.
Here’s a video of the band playing the tune…
In closing…nope this wasn’t my cup of tea and yet I still really enjoyed it. It’s easy to listen to and easy to appreciate. I’d like to hear more diversity in the arrangements and perhaps incorporate a few more idea’s into the music as the biggest risks taken on this EP are no doubt related to the personal nature of the lyrics. Overall it was a good time and I’m looking forward to more when it comes.
CD’s and tapes are available for purchase from Lost Boy Records:
Some tracks are up at Unearthed:
Facebook them here: