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Music Review: Paper Rival – Paper Rival

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Paper Rival (formerly known as Keating) has recently released its first self titled EP. The band was formed in Tennessee in late 2005. The group is made up of Cody McCall on bass and vocals, Jacob Rolleston on lead vocals, Brent Coleman on guitars and cello, and Patrick Damphier on guitars, keyboards, drums and vocals.

Paper Rival was born out of the friendly relationship between two Tennessee bands. According to Patrick Damphier, “We were in the studio within two weeks of deciding to become a band. We took two songs from Jake’s band, two songs from my band, and co-wrote one song to get started.

Paper Rival’s five song EP begins with the pulsing rhythm of “You’re Right.” The vocals are pitched in and out with the drums. On “A Fox In The Garden” has a traditional pop feel, with the vocals taking center stage but guitars and drums accompanying nicely. It’s on this song that it becomes clear that Paper Rival is very comfortable with itself as a band. The vocalist doesn’t try to shout over the instruments and the instruments don’t overshadow the vocalist.

Paper Rival - Bo Streeter.jpg“Home Is Right Out Your Window” is just a great rock song with a melody. Some will probably sing along with it. “Alabama” is my favorite song of the EP. With its atmospheric feel and nearly falsetto vocal delivery, everything about the song just works.

“Pacing the Cage” is Paper Rival’s reworking of the Bruce Cockburn song. The stripped down arrangement of the song enables Rolleston to bring an almost haunting quality to his vocal delivery.

Jake Rolleston has a full and impressive vocal range that compliments the rest of the band very nicely. Paper Rival’s debut EP shows a band that has a great sound that can only expand with time. I look forward to the release of their first album in February of 2008! In the meantime, please take a listen to their EP at this link.

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