Semi Finalists

Written by: TL on 08/01/2017 19:38:28

Catching Pærish on tour supporting Silversun Pickups in Europe recently, the young Parisian quartet did have an air of inexperience to them, when it came to delivering their show confidently, but listening to their debut album "Semi Finalists", which they released in December, it's easy to understand why people would make note of them and want to bring them along on tour, because it sounds quite promising. Twelve tracks spanning 42 minutes showcase a tight, creative band, who seem to draw inspiration both from youthful, energetic punk and emo, and from more dreamy, noise-drenched indie/shoegaze.

The first song in particular, "Winona Ryder", has a quick step and a build-up that sounds like it's ready to get going full speed, and the swooning follow-up "Adriatic" also drives forward with a purpose, before Pærish flip the script with a couple of tracks that bear strong similarity to a sadly overlooked band like Mansions from Seattle. Mainly though, it's names like Cloud Nothings, Japandroids and We Were Promised Jetpacks that come to mind as good comparisons, for their similar, yet each slightly different, style of indie that's on the more energetic and distortion-powered side. There's also a bit of a 90's atmosphere in play here and there, bringing to mind local underground punks Molly.

The band's main strength is their lively arrangements, which showcase a knack for putting together guitar progressions that have dynamic touches beyond the band's years. The vocals sliding between the two ends of the spectrum, sometimes soft and distanced, yet occasionally sliding up and letting a bit of grit get on them, also add nicely to the peculiar style you get to feeling is the band's trademark. Yet at the same time, some of that confidence they haven't built up yet could also be at fault for one of the downsides of the vocals, namely that the enunciation of the lyrics isn't too clear, which hurts the better moments where you really feel like getting to know a track so you can sing along.

Maybe it's having English as a second language or maybe it's just not having had so many times in the vocal booth yet, but whatever the case it marks an area that can improve and make the band even better over time. Presently the fuzzy lyrics harm mainly the more slow to mid-tempo songs on the record, while especially "Then People Forget", "7-57" and "ShaqFu" have energy and compositional potential that shine through regardless. Primarily, though, the impression of this debut is positive, due to a style that stands out immediately, which is both encouraging and inviting, so you soon find yourself at home in it, and because of that there's reason to hope the band gets to build experience and confidence so they can refine their intriguing ideas in the future.


Download: Then People Forget, Winona Ryder, 7-57, Adriatic
For The Fans Of: Mansions, Cloud Nothings, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Japandroids, Molly
Listen: facebook.com/Paerishtheband

Release date 02.12.2016
14 Bowls Of Cereals

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