The Paper Champions – Sounds From The Cutting Room Floor

The Paper Champions
Sounds From The Cutting Room Floor

As the title indicates, this digital-only release from Atlanta-based quartet The Paper Champions, is a collection of b-sides, extras and early material written and recorded prior to the band’s 2004 release Weekend Of Compromise, and it sees the band as they were exploring and developing their sound.

They should have also been working on their songwriting skills, since Sounds From The Cutting Room Floor, although long on angular, buzzing guitars with borderline power riffs, sludgy bass lines and energetic drumming, the songs fall short in the keep-the-listener-interested category. Of course it doesn’t help that this particular brand of rock has been played out by countless bands for well over a decade now.

Although varying the mix of drubbing bass, crafty drum lines and sleek, dueling guitar rushes, most of the tracks rely on the singing to punch out the melodies, which is a mistake since the singers too often sound strained and have a hard time carrying a decent tune.

Overall, the 11 tracks don’t do much to distinguish themselves and sound more like formulaic and fragmented rock segments piled on top of industry standard alt-rock beats with an occasional early Smashing Pumpkins influence infiltrating the mix. But it’s the unpolished and directionless vocals that weigh them down further, turning some average music into stuck-in-the-mud generic alternative rock songs.

Fans of the band will no doubt be tempted to hear the seeds that grew into the band’s debut album Weekend Of Compromise, but fans of alternative rock won’t be missing much if they skip over this release.