Paper Mache - Easier to Lose
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: February 28, 2008
Music, for me, has always been a source of outlet. I use it to escape, I use it to embrace, I use music for just about anything humanly possible. The idea I've always had that makes an artist a favorite of mine is how well I can relate to what the musicians are trying to portray in their songs, even when it's not something I've personally been through. Just being able to feel what the singer is saying and knowing deep down the words he/she's spilling out truly mean the world to him/her. This gem of an album I am speaking of is called Easier to Lose.
Consisting primarily of front man Chelsea Seth Woodward, Paper Mache is a four-piece Indie band hailing from Spokane, Washington and far under the radar have they flown. Most of what I am saying is different now, for this album came out in 2008 and the band now resides in Austin, Texas and has different members than the ones on this album but this album is one I have kept close since it came out and I have never written a review before now, so this stands as my attempt to give these guys a little 'airtime'...
From the first lines of opener, "Proud Man" you can tell this is not an uplifting, happy record, "If I was half the man my father is / I'd be twice the man I've ever been / see the mark but always miss / see the bar but can't reach it". But Mr. Woodward has something to say and with is excellent vocal delivery that sounds like someone you've heard before but can't place your finger on, and the soft but declaring guitar play, it's interesting enough to keep listening. As third song "Clover" sets in you start wondering what band starts up with such a heavy tone to reveal the first of many stripped, bare acoustic songs on the album, this one with tinges of electrics in the background and again very sad but somewhat quirky lyrics, "Three leaf clover, so I glued on a fourth one / my life's a joke when theirs no one laughing / is this tragically a comedy / or comically a tragedy? / maybe I can't see the difference".
Like that of most artists, what makes Paper Mache stand out above others (in my opinion) is the vocal and lyric writing abilities of Mr. Woodward. This album is dark, this man has gone through a ton of hell and he's opening his insides to share it with you, not to feel his pain but rather share his stories with you, and too me, that takes a lot of guts. Everyone goes through personal hardships, we should all be able to find a way to share this part of our lives with the world in one way or another. Some people pick loved ones, sex, others painting, these guys picked this album and it may not be perfect, but I bet it means a lot to them.
Anyways, throughout the album their is a consistent mid to low tempo going on but it never lacks in variety. As I said, they mix it up with multiple acoustic tracks and full band attempts, I can't say which one I like more as they both give me different things.
I want to share some snippets of the lyrics in certain songs that mean a lot too me in hopes they can speak to you as well:
2. Mixtape - "I just wanna take all my calenders and throw them all away / all I need to know is how many times my favorite mixtape plays / we can cover our faces with sheets / and block out the day / where no one grows old in here / no one grows old in here".
6. Bus Stop - "In the yard after classes / he came and broke your glasses / blood thirsty grins / for a stir in a quiet kid / and you were shaken afraid / you had something to say / but when the words crawled to your throat / they just dripped from your face / go on and drip".
This is the standout track on the entire album for me, probably the darkest at that:
7. The Vaccine - I've been living with debts unpaid / and I prayed to God for an angel to save me / and an answer it came in the form of a friend / he saved my life / but I couldn't save his / and the evil man still walking the streets / it didn't seem fair cause he should of took me / and every new kid that I meet / could of used a friend like him".
& 9. I Don't Dream - "If I can I'll take you with me when I die / well, it don't mean shit too me / I stand naked holding spindles of material / but they will never be clothing without the seams".
Overall this is a superb first attempt that I think any musician should be proud of and the main thing I would want to see different in this band (which they did on their second release) is for them to splash just a bit of optimism and a fast pace in some of the songs because I do get tired of that sadness when listening sometimes. But they have (had) a long road ahead of them and for producing, mixing, and recording it all themselves, that's some kudos. If you would like to give them a listen they are kind enough to have their entire discography up for listen/buy on their bandcamp page: