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Paper Rival
Paper Rival EP
Photo Finish Records
www.paperrival.com


An EP is generally this first CD put out by a band that's attempting to stake their claim in the music industry. It's a way to introduce yourself and give people a chance to see what you might have to offer. Well, my mailbox was recently graced with the EP of a band by the name of Paper Rival. And as an introduction goes, this is an excellent one.

Their music is beautiful in its own way. There's nothing too complex or confusing to figure out. The music on this CD is clean-cut, and clearly resonates from your stereo. The beats beckon a slight movement of the body; just enough to keep you awake for the experience. I really hate to label this band as emo, because when I think emo I think either Dashboard Confessional or, on the harder side, Hawthorne Heights. No, these guys are more ambient morphed with rock. They mix the harmonies and emotions that you would see out of a band like As Tall As Lions with the variety of tempos, tones and even character of someone more like Snow Patrol. The vocalist Jake seems to have found an excellent medium. He's powerful enough to evoke something from his audience, yet doesn't push it too far. I think my favorite song on the EP is the first, "Alabama." From the very beginning you get a chance to hear the range of Jake's voice and how elementary peaceful it can be. The drums are actually the main instrument, which carry you through this song. And with lyrics like "hopelessly yours Alabama," this is an excellent song. They end it off with a song similar to the tempo with which the CD started; "Pacing The Cage" has a little element that makes it quite an interesting song. If you listen closely you realize that it is hands clapping in the background. Sure, there are other instruments that play their part but they are a cello, a piano, and a little bit of guitar and a tad percussion.

Perhaps another reason for an EP is to make your fans, or future fans, anticipate the release of your full-length album, to perhaps lock in a few guaranteed record sales before that album is even released. That's definitely what this EP did for me. I cannot wait for their full-length album to be released. I was introduced to them and I want more... more of this amazing music that's coming out of Nashville.

-Rachel Fredrickson


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