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Paper Arms have been around for a relative while now, but they’ve also been through a hell of a lot as a band. That makes new LP ‘Great Mistakes’ not a random album but the product of determination, resilience and most of all, unbridled feeling. The emo-punk rockers have victoriously stomped on their hardships by exposing them in every track on ‘Great Mistakes’, making it one ride of a listen.
While opener, ‘Dedication’, is a solid song, it’s not indicative of even half of this album’s quality. Along the way you’ll hear shades of Nirvana with the grungy ‘This Time’, emo contemporaries Balance and Composure with ‘Pick Yourself Up’ and even hints of Brand New, with ‘The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me’ vibes resemblant on ‘Blackout’. That’s not to say that they replicate the sounds of any of those bands (but if you’re a fan of the aforementioned, you’ll likely be into this record). In fact, Paper Arms blend their influences to create something sheerly unique, an inevitable outcome of making an album that is so inherently personal.
If there was one word to describe this album, ‘personal’ would be it. Intense, raspy vocals voice potent emotion on ‘You Don’t Speak For Me’, while slow-burning skramz fireball ‘Wake and Run’ similarly drives that point. Title track ‘Great Mistakes’ is inclusive and hopeful, ironically because of its subject matter.
It’s necessary to mention closer, ‘Factory Settings’, which is fundamentally an anthemic standout that notes the importance of individuality and takes a stand on behalf of the marginalised from its get go. This album is special because it will warm your heart and chill it; Paper Arms are sincere, and that’s everything.
This is a triumphant album that could have only been the product of a band who have experienced enough to make it. All we have to say about Paper Arms’ new LP is that of all the mistakes they could have made, ‘Great Mistakes’ is not one of them.
2. You Don’t Speak For Me
3. Great Mistakes
4. This Time
5. Pick Yourself Up
6. Wake And Run
10. Stumble Over
13. Factory Settings