Herein lies the second EP from Ballyclare alt rockers Paper Man, following on from 2013’s After Effects. The band has moved from a four-piece to a trio since then and this is their first with the current line-up. With Midfield Modern Argument the band have also taken steps to move on from their old sound as well, this isn’t a complete reinvention but this is not last year’s sound.
What Paper Man have delivered on Midfield Modern Argument is a three-song record of straight up alternative rock. The band lists the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and A Plastic Rose as their main influences, and this alt rock sound is what they’ve come up with. This EP never though threatens the same edge that you would hope for.
First track ‘Like TV’ might be the best on the EP. Alastair Greyson and Kate Cannon’s vocals combine well on this short track. It exemplifies the rock sound the band is going for on this EP with powerchord riffing and muted guitar in the verses. ‘Kissy Face’ follows a similar formula, though Cannon’s vocals get more prominence here. ‘Poetry’ and ‘Kissy Face’ both share heavier bridge riffs, which are good moments in both tracks. However these two moments expose the lack of edge on show.
Bands like Smashing Pumpkins employ similar heavy moments that push it up a notch. On Midfield Modern Argument while the band’s guitar sound is overall harder and heavier than on After Effects, it doesn’t vary from song to song or from verse to chorus. The lack of dynamics prevents breakaway moments from exploding the way they could and perhaps should.
Admittedly it’s hard to explore and expand a sound over the course of three short tracks, Paper Man do have potential to deliver more and Midfield Modern Argument is a solid alt rock EP.
◀ STANDOUT ⁞ Like TV ▶
◀ SOUNDS LIKE ⁞ Smashing Pumpkins | A Plastic Rose ▶