Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Paragraphs - +/-

After catching this San Diego combo at the Double Down last weekend, I was impressed enough to immediately grab their CD. They have a pretty damn unique sound that is hard to put into words, with influences ranging from pop to punk to grunge to whatever. Led by Jesse Lee Hofbauer on lead vocals/lead guitar, they also include multi instrumentalist Adam Fielmeier, bassist Abel Perez and drummer Mike Hunt.

There are definitely some 60's influences here, but twisted up with some noise and new-wave tendencies and even power-pop. Damn, is this even making any sense? Somehow this blend really works - mainly due to the fact that the songs are quite well written. When they get into numbers like "Oliver Sunshine", it's a little easier, as this is like an updated Bobby Fuller Four song, complete with backing vocals that could have been in "Never To Be Forgotten". The jangly guitars and big vocals in "There Is Nothing You Can Do" give it a mellower, more serious power-pop feel and then "Algebra" is more abrasive and angular with some raucous screams from Jesse. There are quieter numbers like "Tongues" and "Gimme Back My Halo", which simply adds to the variety. There's lot more going on here, as well, with plenty of clever and innovative melodies, guitar lines and dynamics. Far from one-trick-ponies, this is damn fine and interesting and quite cool in a live setting.