Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Paperbacks Make Art

Winnipeg continues to offer up essential artists brought to you by the letter P (see previous post), but this week's band has little in common with the Pumps or Personality Crisis. The Paperbacks have been churning out literate pop for almost a decade now. However, only two full-length albums, An Episode of Sparrows (2003) and An Illusion Against Death (2007) had materialized. Until now. Well, January 12th is the official release date, but more importantly, the bookish ones have unleashed a juggernaut by way of a double album. Yes, that's right, 32 tracks of wordy indie-rock, all available tout-suite. Who releases double albums? Rush? Husker Du? Ryan Adams? Smashing Pumpkins? Although there have probably been a few Manitobans who have accomplished this feat, I can't think of any. In any event, you can buy it from Scratch, Bandcamp, Cdbaby, iTunes, Amazon, Kresge's, Woolworth, The Bay, Syd's Carousel, Long John Silver's, Kelly's, Records on Wheels, Mr. Sound, Impulse, and any online service you can think of and a bunch more you've never thought of and never will.

So what does it sound like? Well, the name of the band should help, as should the above adjectives "literate" and "wordy". Song titles such as Illness as Metaphor, Casually Swearing at the Vacant Coastline, The Asheville Period (In Retrospect), Stars (for Claire Massey), Regrettable Tattoos, may give you further clues as to the sensibilities of these gentlemen. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Doug McLean was never afraid of using his vocabulary with previous bands Painted Thin or The Bonaduces, but now lyrical poetry flows like fine ale at the King's Head. Reference points may or may not include The Weakerthans or Death Cab For Cutie, but smart, melodic guitar-based rock is never a bad start. Add some good dynamics, a few well-placed guest musicians, and a willingness to be inventive, and you've got a fine recipe. Haven't heard the whole album yet; what do you make of these songs?

The Paperbacks - Make Art (download mp3 here)

The Paperbacks - Slow Learners (download mp3 here)

There wil be an album release party January 23rd at the West End Cultural Centre, be there or be mumbly and artless.

It Will Take Courage, My Love

Lit From Within

Who Will Run the Starfish Hospital

No comments: