A Paper Cup Band – Detroit Vs. Farming

A Paper Cup Band

A Paper Cup Band - Detroit Vs. Farming

Detroit Vs. Farming is a window into A Paper Cup Band‘s stream of consciousness, done in a folk-tinged get-up with the odd experimental flourish. It’s an amalgamation of fleeting thoughts, temporary melody, and occasional surprise.

The gentler songs, such as “Awake With Light,” sound like warped lullabies. The rowdier tracks — the title track “Detroit Vs. Farming” will do — sound almost spastic in the context of the album by comparison. “Dead Woman Country” abandons the acoustics altogether, turns up the distortion, and dials up the beatbox’s tempo control. It’s a joyride in the dark with the headlights off.

In between the extremes, A Paper Cup Band squeezes in some countryish licks, as on “Drunks and Poets”; a dirge-like meditation on ossification; and a short Violent Femmes reduction (“Future Pastures”). To be honest, a good bit of the singing and even lyrical content might derive from Gordon Gano et al.

A Paper Cup band’s pendulum seems to swing between the offbeat pop of bands like Rotary Downs and the oblique beat-folk of Beck. If the lyrics too often seem unfortunately oblique (“Broad spectrum over tones are somber / Why don’t we imagine ends?”) they do occasionally hit on something recognizable. Here’s something we can actually take literally: “It’s a very beat-heavy time / We’re finding new ways to drop rhymes.” That may be the band’s way of summing up its philosophy and practice of music, actually.