Being a simple soul, it has been hard to understand how a band can start with one genre and suddenly change to embrace a distinctly different one. Assumptions would be they start with the style/direction that lights their fires and continues to evolve it to fulfil their potential with the hope of success. There are probably numerous examples of artists doing this that are escaping thoughts as fingers click keys, but undoubtedly Ministry is the most obvious example. You can be sure many do it to chase the success and bucks, though something you cannot accuse the Al Jourgensen band of nor we would suggest Papertowns., a US band according to the press release for their new EP also undertaking that kind of change, though maybe not quite as massive a leap. The Arizonia quintet formed in 2012 as a hardcore provocation but last year after a line-up change “decided to change their genre in hopes of creating a more sharable form of music that not only they could enjoy, but many others could enjoy as well.” How potent their sound was before we cannot say but the band’s new release suggests that with their now emo/angst fuelled rock they are a band to keep an eye on.
Hailing from Phoenix, Papertowns. released their debut release the following year in the shape of Passion/Aggression EP. It was followed and supported by the five-piece going on tour across the southern half of America with Vices and Hotel Books. As mentioned 2014 saw the band undergo a personnel change and subsequently the reassessment of their future leading to the big change in sound. It was not long before they took to the studio to create their new/first offering since the shift. Recorded with engineer/producer Zachary Rippy, the With You In Mind EP has emerged as an attention sparking and flavoursome proposal. How existing fans will have taken to the move only they can say but for newcomers the release, via Famined Records who the band signed with also last year, makes for an intriguing enjoyment.
Drift Away is the first track from the EP to entice ears, guitar and mellow vocals a gentle, reflective, and slightly sombre initial caress. A brief engagement in length, the track is soon becomes an impassioned roar of vocal anxiety and sonic intensity which subsequently drifts away allowing the following Late Night to step forward with its own mix of melody rich contemplation and tempestuous emotion. Never anything less than stormy, the song still makes a warm and inventive entrance, guitars spinning an engaging and volatile web of sound and expression matched by vocals which at times wander a little but essentially provide another strong emotive flame to the proposition. A great throaty bass line throbs throughout whilst drum rhythms do not intrude with any real venom yet are snappy when needed to be. As the EP eventually emulates, the song is an appealing further introduction to the band, one with a few unsure elements but with far more promise which outweighs their deficiencies whilst sparking an appetite for the band’s enterprise.
Next up is Change, its modest first touch soon a wiry enticing of sonic imagination and spicy melodies courted by a much more forceful rhythmic coaxing. Vocals again are swiftly at the scene and impressively blossoming as they expand to fill the climactic sky of the fuzzily warm and slightly caustic incitement. In no time the track shows a stronger endeavour and imagination than its predecessors, creating enthralling aural scenery around its melancholic narrative and ensuring its three minutes simply fly by.
Empty similarly casts a weave of varied sonic endeavour, the diversely seeded strands entwining around firm rhythms and another vocal display which is especially vibrant when harmonies and multiple voices converge on the senses. The shimmering sultry air of the song is magnetic whilst the turn to a predatory intent through riffs and beats is captivating, though the success is diminished a touch by the closing raw ire hitting voice and sound. Nevertheless there is plenty to be fascinated by and to find keen interest for, reinforced by the spiralling melodic intensity and provocative atmosphere of Dusk which serenades with feisty energy and unpredictable emotion next. It is another song which finds a greater inventiveness and creative intensity, holding ears and thoughts with ease. The warmth of the songs as here, is never given an easy ride by the sonic and emotive turbulence driving each encounter, but again in the penultimate song on the EP makes for a pulsating and potent embrace.
Final song Old Days is a tapestry of guitar enterprise and individual prowess, a showing of rich craft within one last cauldron of emotional unrest. It is an enthralling end to a strong release and though With You In Mind did not have the passions on fire, it is fair to say that as a first glimpse at the new direction of Davy Comyns, Dillon Clinton, Harrison Miller, Jordan Leal, and Jonathan Brown, it makes a healthy and pleasing base for further adventures and enjoyments.
The With You In Mind EP is available now via Famined Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/with-you-in-mind-ep/id982975869
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