Review- “Inferior Ghost”- Papermaps

reviewed by Michael Thomas

It’s safe to say that Papermaps knows how to build momentum. The released their debut album last year and have since then played numerous shows to delighted crowds. As of yesterday they just finished a residency at the Drake, and they’re soon to release a new recording, Inferior Ghost.

It’s a six-song EP, and it’s another one that I’m fairly sure will end up on my “Best of 2012” EP list without any question. The EP shows, just as their self-titled debut did, that the band knows how to write a catchy song. And better yet, they write catchy, meaningful songs.

The band has a lot of chemistry when on stage, and that cohesion can be heard on the album, too. Each band member contributes their own essential piece of the Papermaps puzzle, and the result is usually extremely memorable work. Take their first single and EP opener “There Are Wolves.” The keyboards play a beautiful background role in this song, reminding me a little bit of Said the Whale. And the hook “We were just waiting, we were just waiting/We were already there” will lodge in your mind before you even know what hit you.

The height of catchiness on this EP is no doubt in “Nobody Gets It,” a song that features a healthy dose of hand claps. Though it doesn’t reach the insane joy of “Reunion,” arguably one of the best pop songs written in years, I predict this song will become a fan favourite, especially thanks to the chorus: “I want it perfect/Nobody’s perfect baby.”

The band also gets the tender moments just right. “Break” starts off like an Oasis song before breaking into a sudden electric guitar solo. It builds in intensity over time, and it eventually leads to a line that could be really corny but isn’t thanks to the dramatic nature of the song: “I didn’t want to break you heart.” Dean Marino sings the song with such power that the line cannot be ignored.

“Wait For Me” is a decidedly frantic number, while the album’s title track shows the band’s softer side. It also features some audible background vocals from the extremely talented Wendy Leung.

The EP ends with “Reaction Formation.” Had I not known I was listening to Papermaps, I would have sworn I was listening to Bend Sinister based on the beginning. Marino even hits a high note just like Dan Moxon. But when the song reaches its chorus, it undeniably becomes a Papermaps song. It’s a fascinating song to listen to in its entirety.

The ghost may be inferior, but this EP is definitely superior. I’m hoping that I’m the first reviewer of this album to have used that play on words.

Inferior Ghost will be available digitally on August 14, and released physically on limited edition vinyl on August 28th. You can pre-order the vinyl and listen to “There Are Wolves” and “Reaction Formation” on Papermaps’ Bandcamp page.

Top Track: “Nobody Gets It”

Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) +*swoop*

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