Gym Class Heroes – The Papercut EP

Gym Class Heroes
The Papercut EP

It seems strange that a hip-hop band from Upstate New York ended up on Fueled by Ramen records. Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy fame reportedly fell in love with Gym Class Heroes, and his praise led to their signing with the label. The group recently released The Papercut Chronicles, but the four-song The Papercut EP that precedes it features two exclusive tracks. The Papercut EP serves as a very good exposition to the head bobbing music and thoughtful rhymes which make Gym Class Heroes unique.

The EP begins with “Taxi Driver,” which integrates about 24 bands into the rhymes. In the midst of twinkling guitar notes and thumpy bass, groups ranging from At the Drive-In, Sunny Day Real Estate, and Thursday are name dropped. With the other songs, Gym Class Heroes confront subject matters from girls to karma. “Papercuts” is a semi-aggressive relationship rant, whereas “Makeout Club” is a recollection of past affairs. The band explores a spacey sound with “Boomerang Theory,” confessing past regrets with lines like, “and all the candy that got stolen from the corner store / I’m really sorry being young – it’s kinda hard.”

This may not be the greatest hip-hip I’ve ever heard, but it has an identity going for it. The live feel evokes memories of Notorious B.I.G.’s classic album Ready to Die in that respect. The Papercut EP is far from conventional MTV hip-hop, and the next time the band is in town I’ll take more notice.