Paper South and Midori Umi
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., April 21, 2006
The Paper South
Austin's stable of hallucinatory guitar pop bands is splintering the wood. Featuring former members of Winslow and American Analog Set, the Paper South returns to those much-loved bands' wall of melody on their debut six-song EP. Opener "Caught Leaving the Scene of the Accident" runs through prickly guitar lines straight into the gentle creep of "City Responder." Vocalist/guitarist Shawn O' Keefe keeps his whisper in check on "Short-Wave Resolutions," battling a squall of guitar that breaks up the album's preciousness. The trance-inducing "Ready or Not" performs a frontal lobotomy with ice pick guitars. Another Winslow alum, Zach Logan, has gone a more rock route in Midori Umi. This quartet's debut EP opens with the pop floss of "Straight to the Bone," playing on the female/male harmonies of guitarists Paula Smith and Ryan Wade. Out spits "Give me something to shake, rattle around 'til you can't feel the weight" as adrenaline guitar shoots into the left ventricle. "Nature Breaks" continues resurrecting early-Nineties dynamo-pop (with Yo La Tengo as an obvious influence), heavy on the interlacing of Smith's jittery axe, Logan's bass, and drummer Chris Laurel's thump. By the time the spirited instrumental "Hat Trick" rolls around, you want to slam dance in your old worn Sebadoh shirt. Piss and romance.