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Album Review

It's hard to do prog rock on the cheap, but Paper Airplanes give it the old college try on their debut album, Boyhood. The Wichita trio, augmented by a bunch of friends playing violin, cello, accordion, French horn, chimes, trombone, and trumpet, create complicated, overstuffed arrangements for their songs, which are usually melodic, even though the melodies only serve as a base for grandiose productions. Fearlessly disregarding the conventional demands of sound equalization and needles that go into the red, they record tracks that fill up the room, with instruments clashing and distorting in near cacophony at times. Then, suddenly, a track will stop on a dime for a second of silence or a single, clearly defined instrument, before things rev up again. Marcus Stoesz sings with adenoidal strain within these sound pictures, like a man barely keeping his head above water in a relentless tide, warbling abstract and impressionistic lyrics. The group's obvious immediate influence is the Flaming Lips, but they've clearly been listening to Pink Floyd, among other progressive rock bands. If they had more money to spend in the studio, and a bit more experience, not to mention a better sense of organization and more coherent songs, they might be able to make something of all this, and in the future, maybe they will. Boyhood is an earnest effort, even if simultaneously overdone and under-realized.

Customer Reviews

Blow your mind.

Easily one of the greatest albums to come out of the indie scene for quite a while, from thoughtful lyrics to blazing instrumentals it doesn't get much better than these guys. Grab the album before they blow up, they're gonna be HUGE.

A Wichita, KS favorite made for greatness

This CD is the first release from Paper Airplanes. It is quite simply amazing. It came out in 2005 on a local label and is being redistributed by 54 40 or Fight. Luckily I have a digital copy of my CD because the real one would have been well worn by now. Paper Airplanes has a sound (to be corny) unlike any other band. I've a fairly avid "indie"-music fan but I lack an adequate comparison between them and another band. They swing raw, poetic, almost impressionistic lyrics between catchy melodies which seem familiar almost on first listen. The songs go through several tempo changes and style changes, sometimes abruptly, while never seeming out-of place. Simply put, give it a listen and if you like the tiny samples, I suggest purchasing the whole album. You will not be disappointed.

It's been a while... And I've written this review with great care.

For months, I have been looking for the perfect CD for my 50th review. Well now I look no further... I have found it. Paper Airplanes was a group that I had discovered a long time ago, and left it alone. Now that I come back to it, it seems to reveal the same and better memories of my childhood. Perhaps these memories are just feelings, and maybe these thoughts never happened. Never the less, I assure you that this is the CD that you want to buy. Why?..... Well, lets just say that it will awaken your mind to all of the fabulous memories of a great past, even if they never happened. The best picture I can describe this wonderful CD with is a blue sky, with puffy white clouds, and white fences. I know that this isn't really what my friends know me for writing, but, it just has to be said, no? This CD is one that really calms me down; and I'm sure that it will bring you lots of good memories in the long run. Who knows? It could be your next favorite group. =)


Formed: Wichita, KS

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The indie rock band Paper Airplanes were formed in Wichita, KS, by singer/guitarist Marcus Stoesz, drummer Nathan Wilder, and bassist Anthony Piazza. In concert, they were augmented by Les Easterby, Jeff Vidricksen, and Spliff Phillips. Their debut album, Boyhood, was released by the tiny Mayhaps label...
Full Bio
Boyhood, Paper Airplanes
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Customer Ratings