Paper Tigers – Lifebloods review

Paper Tigers coverFormed in 2011, Staffordshire based quintet Paper Tigers released their second EP last month – you download the full release below, for free. As a follow up to their critically acclaimed debut Safe In Words, Lifebloods was released at the start of July, having been recorded at Longwave Studios with Romesh Dodangoda (Kids In Glass Houses, Funeral For A Friend, The Blackout). Five tracks of original alt-indie-rock are topped off with a closing remix of the title track, from Iain Mahanty (Kids In Glass Houses) under his DJ moniker ”Common Wealth”.

A electronic-tinged start to opening track Majestic Twelve soon gives way to clear, driving vocals, supported by synths and percussion. Although the track never feels quite like it reaches a pinnacle, and occasionally the vocals feel slightly too weak in comparison to the percussion, throughout, particularly on the middle eight, the vocals and instrumental interweave perfectly, forming a refreshing and controlled sound. Haunts opens in a more vocally driven manner, with Jim’s (Carter, vocals) voice all but sailing across the simplistic backing instrumental, with layered vocal work towards the end of the track adding another depth to the music.

The title track appears third on the EP, and the definite indie-rock sound is highlighted in the understated instrumental which compliments the delicate vocal work, before the build up to the chorus regains control of the sound. The track fades out over closing line, “it’s the way you say forever”, creating a captivating finale, before the second half of the EP commences with Closest North (Chapter & Verse). A post-chorus link that would make the crowd surge to dance at a live show slots into the structure, with a controlled breakdown serving instead of a middle eight, before the faded close.

Penultimate El Dorado serves as the last of the band’s own work on the EP, with a minimalistic instrumental breaking abruptly to a powerful, gang-vocals chorus. The track closes abruptly, too, before bonus track of LifeBloods, remixed by Common Wealth, completes the release. This finale adds a new side to the record, with a more mellowed out, trance-eqsue sound laying over the longest track of the release, layering the vocals and bringing out the distinct lyricism to create a track that compliments the rest of the release perfectly.

It’d be an understatement to say this EP is impressive; more so, I find it ludicrous that they’re giving the release away from free digitally. With captivating vocals, enticing instrumental and an underlying electric vibe, it’d be a mistake not to get your hands on this record.

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