Live Review: The Paper Scissors @ The Troubadour 7 August 2009

The Paper Scissors @ The Troubadour, Friday August 7th.
by Will Alexander

Paper Sissors   The Paper Scissors (TPS) live on that fine line that divides funk, rock and punk; sometimes more one than the other, but never too far away from something that resembles one or all three simultaneously. TPS experience begins in a funk/punk hybrid and inevitably leads into some rock reprieve. This lifts into a grungy guitar moment only to descend into a stripped-back beat just long enough to let you appreciate the melody…then back comes that hook you either just got acquainted with or already know.

It’s pop, and in a good sense – a well coordinated mix of genres that resonate in the only place that really matters – the auditory cortex.

Tonight Jai’s vocals seemed as stripped down as ever, almost unpredictable from verse to verse. They surged and waned in ways that sometimes complemented the rhythm and sometimes left it behind, but always culminating in a wagering assurance the chorus crescendo would find every ear in the room. His six foot something height put him at a real height above the audience and they began with some immense funk sounding riffs through steady rock drums.

They played Yamanote Line 3rd, asking to ‘sing along if you know the syllables’ and it was well received with no lack of support singers in the back. Soon following that a cajoler from the audience shouted ‘just howl’ seconds late as the first chords of Howl were already starting. Jai introduced it as an old song for the band, and with each pertinent lyric his face seemed to transform like the face in Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ as he looked skyward for brief moments in time. Going into ‘We Don’t Walk’ snare trouble halted the song in its forging moments, which was a shame since much of the crowd was waiting for the memory songs to strike the necessary chords. The ‘Ivan’s backing it up’ vocals and consistency from the bass saved the song though and led into an great version, leaving all the cards on the table and nothing but new songs to fill the gap until the end. Waiting with interest for the new songs to unfold we were introduced to the love song portion of the set. The vibe suitably slowed and once again a stripped down rhythm emerged, soaring at the right moments and leading into the last song ‘Time’. Both of the last two songs had good mellow synth sounds in the background that added to the atmosphere without detracting from the music. They played the last song with 5 members of the crowd doing backup vocals. Xavier on bass commented that this would be the new single for the upcoming album. The lack of rehearsal with the accompaniment showed, but the song left a ring in my head I can still hear, sounding somewhat like a more punk version of a Cold War Kids song.

It was a great show all round though, felt bopping among a crowd comfortable doing hopscotch on the dance floor. Kind of like a Primus concert but easier to dance to. All I have to say is get back into the studio lads, we want more!