the pAper chAse

the pAper chAse

the pAper chAse

God Bless Your Black Heart

Kill Rock Stars

For many longtime fans, Modest Mouse’s latest stylistically divergent offering was somewhat confusing, if not disappointing. I count myself among the undecided, but those who miss the more muscular and insane Modest Mouse should lend an ear to Dallas’s the pAper chAse. The band’s singer, John Congleton, does Isaac Brock better than Isaac Brock these days — I’m referring to the feverish lyrical passion plays and spittle-flecked rap-ravings that used to be Brock & co. stock and trade.

God Bless Your Black Heart serves up the titular organ on a variety of platters to be dissected by ex-lovers, relatives and devils alike. Congleton’s lyrics are steeped so deeply in the downward spiral that it’s tempting to look to the instrumentation for emotional relief. Good luck finding any refuge in the twisted knots of piano atonalities, boiler room percussion, lacerating guitar riffs and abortive string movements. Compounding the horror are the incidental noises Congleton weaves throughout the album: corpse flies buzzing, crazed old women cackling, winds howling, etc. It rounds out an album that feels like it was berthed from a fermenting agent in the charnel house from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

It seems like the pAper chAse’s eyes are still adjusting to the darkness while Modest Mouse, after a nearly a decade of chasing down the never ending math equation, are finally content to let everything float on forgivingly. Yeah, that was a good sentiment for the summer, but now it’s October, Halloween’s just around the corner and the recent temperature drop is calling for something a little more despondent and bleak. This album has what I need in spades.

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