Emo bands don't get pain; John Congleton does. He and his pAper chAse buddies have felt blades as sharp as those upper-case As a hundred times, or rather you'd think they had based on the aural agony of this EP, the band's first new material since their haunting 'Hide The Kitchen Knives', a record that didn't so much better the majority of 2002 releases as butcher them. Oh little pig, this _is_ pain.
In the most literal sense possible, the pAper chAse are emo - there's more raw feeling in the six minutes of opening track 'Everyone Knows How This Song Will End' than there is in an entire Bright Eyes discography. If you're unfamiliar with Congelton's delivery, imagine Conor Oberst's if he'd just had his balls ripped off by a pitbull and red hot pokers jammed in his eyes. This hurts, for real.
'Everyone Knows...' is a nightmarish mini-epic that echoes the off-key strings of Cursive being gang-banged by Big Black and their nasty punk mates. It's quite possibly the soundtrack to the end of the world, released early to kill off the weak - those who'd cause the most panic come the apocalypse, subsequently ruining everyone else's good time. Congelton's warnings of "When it comes, it'll come as your friend" should be heeded - they'll come with smiles and hugs but bloody daggers for teeth. And what big teeth they are, little pig.
As for the band's take on Roger Waters' 'Go Fishing', well, let's just say it's certainly unique. Uniquely disturbing, that is, and utterly, totally essential. Buy this or they will come for you, little pig.
8Mike Diver's Score