Well it looks like I owe you an apology on this one dear friend; for I have dropped a bollock. We here at the Jellyfish pride ourselves on being at the forefront of great local music. Hell, most of us are great local music (not me, I’m shit). The Medway Jellyfish is usually the first to know about fantastic new bands, which is why I feel such intense shame that we’re only now bringing Paperfriend to you. Their debut EP ‘Memories’ was released on the 8th May… Almost a year ago; fuck me we’re late on this one. Sorry about that.
The Maidstone based indie four-piece Paperfriend play alternative indie with a pop twinge which comes across very well. Formed from the ashes of disbanded outfit Saturday Sunset, Paperfriend released their debut EP in May last year and ahead of their miniature Medway tour next month seems an excellent time to go back and have another listen.
Now before I go on, I want to you know that I really enjoy Paperfriends music and they have some really excellent songs, they’re all talented individuals and the rhythm section of Mark Richardson and Scarlett Silby are as solid and competent as any other indie/pop band. The vocals and guitar playing of Matt Ladbrooke and Dean Ince are excellent. All in all, these raw ingredients should combine to make a fantastic EP, but I’m sad to say that the production just doesn’t convey how talented these guys really are.
I abhor being negative about an obviously talented band, but I just can’t get round the poor recording and production of ‘Memories’. The effects driven guitar is lovely in places, and some licks really shine through but the thin tone and synthetic effects/recording let it down. A little more time afforded to the vocals and guitar, building upon the strong foundations would have been time well spent.
There are some wonderful moments of quality and potential, with the withdrawn subtlety of Nostalgic Nights very pleasant to listen to with some nice interaction between Ladbrooke and Ince. The meatier opening of Credit Card Lifestyle has some great guitar on show, a touch grungy in places and could be perfect. But it’s again let down by the tone and production, with all grit and edge absent from the song. It’s too processed and thin and would really benefit if it sounded more organic. The final track Colours, however, boasts a soft and winding, tastefully arpeggiated riff behind a withdrawn and emotive vocal. It’s a really nice track with a sing song chorus which immediately appeals and is immensely more enjoyable in its simplicity.
Paperfriends debut EP ‘Memories’ has wonderful promise of what is to come from. Full of hints and nods that the band have the talent and quality to really push on and create something amazing. They will be playing at the Beacon Court Tavern, Gillingham on March 13th and Poco Loco, Chatham on the 22nd April and I honestly can’t wait to see them live. I cannot wait to hear what they release next, because with the right production Paperfriend really will be something to behold.