Papercuts – ‘Life Among The Savages’

San Fran crew serve up lush baroque pop on fifth album

The fifth album from San Francisco’s Papercuts is lush, reflecting the classic pop ambition of sole permanent member Jason Quever. Anyone describing it as ‘lo-fi’ ought to expect a call from the genre gendarmes, because even though ‘Life…’ was recorded on a 16-track reel-to-reel, Quever is going great guns to make ‘Life Among The Savages’ a triumph of vision, not studio trickery. To a degree, he succeeds: the nine songs here could have been recorded in 1968. Placid, jangly guitars are complemented by orchestral sunrays, ‘Family Portrait’ moving at a Byrds-like tempo and ‘Easter Morning’ recalling Elliott Smith’s post-‘Either/Or’ albums. It all sounds immaculate, but lacks the memorable lyrics and direct hooks of Papercuts’ pop forbears.

Noel Gardner


Record label: Memphis Industries