For Fans Of
Some say punk rock is dead, and others claim it’s alive and kicking. Whatever you believe it’s hard to deny that Australia have produced some extraordinary talent in its thriving punk scene over the last few years. We recently saw the likes of The Smith Street Band slowly climb the ladder to notoriety, and now Adelaide boys, Paper Arms are preparing to do the same, and reinvigorating our live punk community as they go. The band’s second offering, ‘The Smoke Will Clear‘, boasts 13 tracks of tight, straightforward, no fuss punk rock, which translates all the energy and passion of a live performance into the studio.
Kick starting the album, ‘Tanks of Dust’ brings attention to the band’s move into a more mature, progressive sound, while ‘In Silence’ still manages to deliver the same definitive and reliable heaviness that made their previous offering, ‘Days Above Ground‘, so adored.
‘The Smoke Will Clear‘ exhibits a neatly refined punk rock sensibility with no bells and whistles and plenty of raw, chorus driven testimonials such as standouts, ‘Tense’ and ‘Choke’ that showcase the band’s punchy guitar riffs and dynamic drumming and establishes the record as one written and destined for a live audience.
This being said, Paper Arms aren’t totally playing it safe, and in songs like ‘Drinking On Your Own’ and ‘These Nights’ have instead taken a gamble that pays off brilliantly, by integrating the deep, rough vocals that fits Paper Arms like a glove, with softer, boyish tones, proving the Adelaide lads are willing and able to think outside the box.
Lyrically, the album is the band’s best to date, with lyrics such as “we’re just balancing here between the past and present tense” and “I fill my lungs with all you’ve done until I choke” demonstrating an impressive ability to produce memorable lyrics. This, coupled with the band’s knack for writing a killer chorus such as in ‘Colfax Road’ and the repetition of “these nights are the ones I’ll hold onto” in ‘These Nights,’ makes for some infectious punk and marks a growth in their song writing since Days Above Ground.
The album closes on an interesting note, with ‘The Heart Within’ which favours an instrumental complexity and an unexpected experimenting with pace and tone that is an insight into where the band will go from here.
‘The Smoke Will Clear’ delivers a more mature and polished sound of a band that aims write music to perform live and have, while doing so, unwittingly become martyrs for punk in the Australian live music scene.
1. Tanks Of Dust
2. In Silence
3. Snake Oil
5. Bright Lights
6. Lock Me In
7. Drinking On Your Own
8. These Nights
9. Colfax Road
10. 14 Days
13. The Heart Within