The John Bills 100: 08

Posted on June 26, 2011

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08: the pAper chAse – ‘Hide the Kitchen Knives’.

‘When you’re happy and you’re safe, you’ll do anything to keep it that way’. The pAper chAse are a special band. Perfectly meshing together the horror of discomfort with the beauty of melody, they are the musical equivalent of sunshine serial killer. ‘Hide the Kitchen Knives’ was their 2nd full length record, and a terrifyingly beautiful listen from start to end. ‘I Did a Terrible Thing’ opens up with lonely piano and John Congletons unmistakeable American wail, laying bare his faults and neurosis for all to see. This is an album full of love songs believe it or not, just love songs that have been twisted to shapes rendering them unrecognisable. ‘Where Have Those Hands Been?’ is next, showing off the completely unique guitar style of the band. That sort of thing is said a lot, but the pAper chAse really have a completely unique guitar style, it sounds like no other band I can think of. By the time Congleton is wailing ‘how could they know you like I do?’ at the end, you are as immersed in his paranoia as he is. ‘I’m Gonna Spend the Rest of My Life Lying’ is next, following the same theory  but doing it differently, as Congleton comes up with more lyrical gems (‘all your final moments, a job that hates you too, just remember I spent this whole life lying to myself and you’). ‘Don’t You Wish You Had Some More?’ and ‘A Little Place Called Trust’ are the 2 standouts in the middle of the record, the latter in particular shining through. In a typical pAper chAse touch, the song opens up with the sound of knives being sharpened, before a beautiful 6 minute builder is unleashed, with Congleton crying out ‘you are not the innocent’. Its a stunning song, the sort that most bands just couldn’t write. A criminally underrated band. A fantastic record.

Download: ‘A Little Place Called Trust’, ‘Don’t You Wish You Had Some More?’.

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Posted in: John Bills 100