Paper Beats Scissors, (self-titled)
Paper Beat Scissors is the moniker for Tim Crabtree’s ambitious debut full-length which features an array of Canadian talent from the East Coast. What they have captured on Paper Beat Scissors is truly special, real and intimate.
Opening track “End in Themselves” will remind listeners of the ethereal world of Sigur Rós; Loops, electronic stutters and vocal manipulation are all present and the mix is beautifully done (courtesy of Arcade Fire drummer Jeremy Gara). From here on in though, the sound is quite different albeit still sombre and emotional.
“Season’s Rest” and “Rest Your Bones” both open with Crabtree’s wonderful voice and a simple guitar melody that slowly develops into a textured, cinematic arrangements that includes a full brass section. “Once”, “Tendrils” and “Let Me In” are all quieter folk-pop songs where Crabtree shows that he is a singer-songwriter at heart and is just as lethal solo as when a full band is backing him. Again, what makes this album so fun to listen to over and over again is the band’s instinct’s to keeps things interesting as indie rockers, “Keening” and “Watch Me Go” are mixed among the quieter tracks and will probably kill in a live setting. “Watch” is especially transcendent as the build-up is so emotional and intense.
Paper Beat Scissors is a rich and dynamic listen that tantalizes the soul and imagination, a beautiful work of art. If this doesn’t make it on the 2012 Polaris Prize Nominee list, there’s something wrong with that jury. (Forward Music Group) ~ 5 Stars