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Now You Are One of Us

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Album Review

Dallas experimental noise band the Paper Chase are indie rock's best answer to the paranoid, violent ramblings of ICP or Wu-Tang Clan, and their fourth full-length album, Now You Are One of Us, presents more of the same disconcerting, cacophonous, yet strangely melodic and catchy music that always seems to find frontman John Congleton on the verge of going absolutely insane. The record is vaguely conceptual, the ideas of brutality, extraterrestrial beings, and death pervading the 15 tracks, whose titles explain what's happening on the record better than anything else could ("Wait Until I Get My Hands on You," "Delivered in a Firm Unyielding Way Lingering for Just a Bit Too Long to Communicate the Message 'I Own You'"). Congleton is fixated on the idea of possession and macabre sado-masochism. "If he gets chopped up to bits, must have been an accident" he sings in the stalker-ish "At the Other End of the Leash," over a slow, eerie piano and heavy breathing, complementing the "So go and scream all you want/'Cause that only excites me" of "You're One of Them Aren't You?" But despite his outward obsession with control, the music behind his lyrics reveals his utter lack of it. It's not always loud, but it is always messy, the piano clashing with the guitar, which then slams painfully against the drums and bass, coming together to make a tense, chaotic conglomeration of sounds that somehow still works really, really well. Perhaps it's because Congleton's voice is so oddly inviting (even when he sings "into the oven you go") and melodic, a mix between Wayne Coyne's and Isaac Brock's; perhaps it's because of the spooky, string-laden interludes with narrations of encounters with spirits; perhaps it's just because of the vulgar, voyeuristic appeal of witnessing something that seems as if it will destroy itself at any moment in one huge ball of contumacious burning noise. Whatever the reasons are, Now You Are One of Us shouldn't be missed.

Customer Reviews

New Paper Chase

This album is exceptional. I was about to give it 4 stars, but in truth it deserves the above rating through and through. In this album the Paper Chase have toned down a tiny bit and sharpened up considerably. The Paper Chase's approach in this album is not always as panic-stricken and clamouring as we've become used to it, but in the lulls in their thrash the Paper Chase become more listenable without sacraficing their art. Altogether, the ebbs and flows of this album are almost always pleasing and this album sounds like the work of skilled hands.Here's to hoping this album doesn't end up eating itself.

Very well done, but HTKK is probably stronger...

Very well done album, like other tpc albums this will take a few listens to grasp all the major lyrical themes. "Wait Until I Get My Hands on You" is the best track on the album. The album is produced very well, I wouldn't expect anything less from this bunch. If you are new to this band, I reccomend 2002's "Hide The Kitchen Knives" first, it's my personal favorite. Take the time to let all of their albums digest in your mind, there's many hidden and not so hidden literary, historical, and musical references on all of their albums.


It's one song of discord, it's ugly, it's a masterpiece.


Formed: 1998 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Producer John Congleton's, Dallas, TX-based band the Paper Chase provided a jagged structure of avant-garde jazz, noise, indie, and punk since their formation in 1998. With comparisons to the likes of Drive Like Jehu and King Crimson, Beatville Records -- primarily known for its ska and reggae releases -- released the Paper Chase's debut album, Young Bodies Heal Quickly, You Know, in 2000. The Ctrl-Alt-Del-U EP on Divot followed in 2001, and the next year the Paper Chase delivered Hide the Kitchen...
Full Bio
Now You Are One of Us, The Paper Chase
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Customer Ratings