Sunday, April 16th, 2006
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 29
|The Paper Cranes / The Paper Cranes (Unfamiliar)
Yelping is the new singing. This is the only conclusion I can draw from the number of bands these days that employ this manner of vocal expression. Or maybe it’s just something in the water out in Victoria, BC, the same sleepy burg that gave us Hot Hot Heat and Wolf Parade and now The Paper Cranes. Head Crane Ryan McCullagh sounds not unlike Robert Smith with more than a dash of David Byrne, two fashionable influences if ever there were any. If you like that sound, then this is a golden age for you. If not, and I can’t say I’m a huge fan, then it can be a bit of a struggle to not dismiss an act as soon as the singer/yelper opens their mouth. Luckily, on their debut EP The Paper Cranes offer enough musical goodness to merit sticking around and getting past any initial aversions. There’s some of the guitar jagginess you’d expect, but also some great melodies and songwriting. The one song they’ve made available for download, “Deus Ex Machine Gun”, is not an example of this. It’s rather dull and derivative, but the other tracks on their Myspace page are definitely worthy. They’ll be on a cross-Canada-and-back tour this Summer that lands them in Toronto on June 9 if you want to check them out.
MP3: The Paper Cranes – “Deus Ex Machine Gun” (thanks to Greg for the MP3 update)
|Bound Stems / The Logic of Building the Body Plan (Flameshovel)
Chicago’s Bound Stems piqued my interest at SxSW, so their EP – which had been sitting in a large pile for some time – got moved to the smaller pile and now here it is. Like the Paper Cranes, they also have a penchant for yelping but it’s more the Isaac Brock type than Robert Smith. In fact, there’s a distinct Modest Mouse vibe across the entire record, though rather without the latent anti-socialness and anxiety of that outfit. Instead, Bound Stems are sweetly poppy but still kinda proggy. Rather than seeking catharsis, they exult in the inherent joy of just making music. Not really sure what to make of some of the spoken-word interludes, but the musical bits? Lovely. PS – note to Bound Stems? Next time you print liner notes, you may want to avoid black type on black illustrations. Just a suggestion.
np – Luna / Rendezvous