Paper The Operator

Goodbye God

Written by: TL on 13/04/2010 21:28:59

Paper The Operator, the brain child of one Jon Sebastian from North Carolina, is beginning to seem a household name on our site, having submitted three different releases for review since mid-2009, the most recent one being the first 'real' full length, "Goodbye God" (the first was an EP, the second was a compilation of various recordings), which is under consideration in this article.

For those who don't remember the previous reviews, Paper The Operator is, in a nutshell, a band where Sebastian re-interprets all the greats from nineties- and turn of the millennia alt- and emorock. Such it has been on previous recordings, and such is it on "Goodbye God", as its twelve tracks take you on a casual stroll around Sebastian's cabinet of influences.

Starting out oddly with one of the mellowest songs "Please Proceed", the album betrays its casual nature right off the bat, being so unobtrusive that it feels less like an actual opener and more like an intro to the following "Get Around To It", which not only shows off Sebastian's liking for naive little keyboard melodies alá Motion City Soundtrack and The Get Up Kids, but also his knack for writing choruses that manage to wedge themselves into your head, despite seeming wholly unimpressive on first listen. It's a chilled out track to which you'll be hard pressed not to sing along. "Days Of Thunder" follows suit, but ups the tempo and the fun factor, still thriving on the keys and a chorus that is among the catchiest on offer.

"The Pendulum" then mixes things up with an electronic beats that comes at you with an attitude, the track doesn't really go anywhere, and seems over before it gets off the ground, giving way to the very quiet and Jimmy Eat World-ish (anno "Bleed American") "Lefty Lucy", which unfortunately doesn't pack as much in terms of chorus or hook as other songs here. Thankfully, the following five are among the best thing I've heard from Paper The Operator yet. "In A Pickle" recalls the much underrated first album by Dear And The Headlights, courtesy of a moody riff and a rising refrain, before "It's A Miracle" makes another pass at the kind of song "Lefty Lucy" aimed to be, striking a golden bullseye of memorability. Weezer, whose garage-y sound and awkward singing have been lurking in the background all along, step out of the shadows on the chorus of "Laundrolux", before Motion City Soundtrack again pop up as a likely influence for the fast-paced and uber catchy "Chemistry Set". "Rock Dreams"'s chorus inevitably brings to mind JEW's "Rock Star", yet also revealing a possible liking for Nirvana in the melancholic delivery.

There are two more songs on the disc, but while they are of the kind you will easily recognize when they come around, they aren't as much ones that you will come back to the album for, as the other songs I've mentioned are. Overall, "Goodbye God" is not a perfect record, indeed it will likely be skipped quickly by the ADHD generation, simply because its songs don't seem to be trying very hard for the listeners attention to start out with, and because none of them stick around for much longer than 2 minutes, hardly leaving much to remember. However, if given a few spins, this disc will quickly reveal to be of a highly enjoyable and quite easily memorable nature, proving itself a record that you will often be tempted to put on when you come upon it, because it just feels really damn nice to listen to. Still, I think Mr. Sebastian needs to make something a little less relaxed and a little more ambitious if he wants to contend in bigger leagues. Not that I am at all sure he does, this seeming the very content and confident indie-rock record that it does.

Download: I Get Around, It's A Miracle, Days Of Thunder, Chemistry Set
For The Fans Of: Weezer, early Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids

Release Date 01.01.2010
Viper Bite Records

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