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Album review: The Paperhead's debut

March 21, 2011 |  1:02 pm

The_paperhead Written and recorded by three precocious 18-year-olds from Nashville in the summer of 2010, the Paperhead's debut long-player from Trouble in Mind Records is mind-boggling on two counts.

For one thing, upon first listen the album sounds like it might have sprung fully formed from the psychedelic heydey of 1960s England. Every song swirls and pulsates like a psychedelic light show, featuring electronic sound effects, backward tape loops, textured pop layers, Eastern influences and eerie, unearthly vocals.

That the 12 mellow songs comprising the album were recorded by kids born the year before President Clinton took office is surprising enough, but what's really impressive is their bold and assured grasp of a musical genre that's more than 40 years old.

The band's name is inspired by a lyric in "My Clown," a song by '60s British psych-band July, but their sources of lyrical and musical inspiration also include such acts as the Pretty Things and the post-LSD Beatles. That's not to say that they're slavish to their source material, however. The Paperhead, under the production stewardship of Cheap Time's Jeffrey Novak, delivers a sonic daydream that is as much a part of the present as it is of the past. The trappings may be vintage, but the freshness of the delivery is definitely present day.

Band members Ryan Jennings, Walker Mimms and Peter Stringer-Hye have all gone separate ways to attend college, but we can only hope they'll return to the studio one day to record a follow-up.

Check out "Back to Those Days," from the Paperhead's debut here:

04 Back To Those Days 1

-- Jason Gelt

The Paperhead
"The Paperhead"
Trouble in Mind Records
Four stars (out of four)