CD Review – Paper Lions “The Symptom And The Sick”

Paper Lions
The Symptom And The Sick
Kindercore Records

It should be no surprise to hear that there isn’t anything new going on in the hybrid genre of emo/punk, which I’ll refer to as “modern punk.”

This is probably the umpteenth time this spiel has been printed. But ever-emerging young bands are still grabbing this post-punk torch at the bottom and attempting to run with it.

While most of these bands fall flat vis-à-vis mix and match instrumental experimentation, the Paper Lions is a band that puts the well-worn punk/emo formula to good use. Consequently, the Lions sound as complacent as the other thousand indie-punk bands that simply play their own versions of the punk greats.

The Lions’ debut album, The Symptom and the Sick, is a good modern punk album — nothing more, nothing less.

The album actually starts off with a lot of potential by way of the tunes “He Commands Commandments” and “My Hive.”

The latter showcases a cadence-like lyrical delivery backed by a stimulating NYC retro-guitar riff, and kicks off with a repetitious chord and downbeat drumming that give way to an indignantly upbeat chorus.

The song “Money Blanket” signals the punk monotony that invades The Symptom and the Sick from here on out.

It leads off with a similarly repetitious guitar lick that plays out like a stoic siren blaring the coming of the lyricists punk rant that follows.

It’s downhill from there.

“Seek and Descend” and “High Rise” both show off the singer’s lack of vocal range and lyrical ability in front of now redundant guitar riffs. Although this is all very punk and emo, it is not that attractive a listen at this point (uncoincidentally, this is also a metaphor for the modern punk scene PL rep).

The back-end of the album — besides the sub-par throw-aways “Venus Melting” and “Graduation Prize Prize”– only confirms the Lions complacent sound.

The Lions do have a tight sound that put them ahead of many up-and-coming bands in the genre.

The unfortunate fact is that the band’s initial offering doesn’t do anything to differentiate it from the gaggle of acts at the head of today’s punk pack.

The Symptom and the Sick may simply be yet another modern punk album.

But then again, it is a perfect example of the current vanilla-ness of emo/punk rock.

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