There is a moment on Someday This Could All Be Yours (Part 1)--the fifth full-length by The Paper Chase--in which the final note of track two fades into a brief moment of silence. This is a peculiar development in the catalog of a band that has historically filled every second of its albums with sound. On its new album, the group abandons some of its usual tricks. There are no segue pieces, no recurring musical motifs--just ten songs on an LP.
That is exactly where the power of this album lies; in the songs. And these songs are not short on grandeur. With each track representing a different natural disaster, The Paper Chase leader John Congleton crafts his most startling account of humanity. On Someday, he explores the existential crisis inherent within a universe seemingly fated to exterminate its population. Wringing the most sinister and destructive elements out of the natural world, Congleton creates characters frantically trying to survive elements far beyond their control. While the narrative voices obsess over the batteries in their smoke alarms, the dams along the river and their desperate prayers for health and prosperity, these songs expose the utter frailty of the human condition. Faced with huge catastrophic or cosmic events, man has no choice but to recognize his own insignificance.
On Someday, The Paper Chase sounds even more unlike any other band in modern music. With drummer Jason Garner making his recorded debut with the group, the band expands upon its singular vision--a perpetual struggle between conflict and resolution, dissonance and beauty. Utilizing a newfound dynamic command, these songs are able to breathe--subtly building feelings of anticipation, yet erupting into violence and chaos as crisis becomes inevitable. The Paper Chase has matured but hasn't lightened up. If anything, by leaving open spaces and allowing melodies to fully develop, the group presents its most powerful work to date.
Someday This Could All Be Yours (Part 2)—also comprised of songs about natural disasters--will be released in early 2010. The paper chase is closely coming up on their 10 year anniversary. The band's first record was released in 2000 and was formed shortly before by producer John Congleton in Dallas Texas whose production credits will clog up any google search engine. This recording marks the debut of drummer jason garner (The Deathray Davies) and third LP with Sean Kirkpatrick (Spoon). Bobby Weaver completes the line up along with Congleton as the only other founding member.