San Fran crew serve up lush baroque pop on fifth album

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Papercuts - 'Life Among The Savages'

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Papercuts – ‘Life Among The Savages’

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

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Record label:Memphis Industries