Psychedelic students The Paperhead continue to pay their respects to the rock 'n' roll of the 1960s on 'Africa Avenue', playing their fuzzed-up guitars and acoustic strums like their hair is doing most of the work. It's their most directly pop work as a band yet, though the band still want you to think they're totally weird, so bring in some country fever and even brandish a harpsichord at one point.
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The Paperhead are purportedly proponents of the endemic psych revival, so initial skepticism had me believe that they wouldn't be anything special because, let's face it, a lot of these bands sound the same.
Then I listened to the first track from the band’s new LP, ‘Africa Avenue’ and their take on early British psychedelia is authentic- almost evoking the spirit of 1968- with their Nashville roots also being represented here, particularly in the country-rock spin that the band successfully employ.
There’s so many apparent influences here: from Barratt-esque chord progressions to modified Bo Diddley beats. The album’s pinnacle is within the suberbly riffy ‘Nasty Girl’ because of it’s really playful time signature. Sounding relatively disparate to many of the other tracks, representing a versatility that not many of the psych revivalists showcase.
In all, ‘Africa Avenue’ is innovative as much as it is derivative, but any conformities are executed extremely well. It’s a tried and tested formula, but when it’s done right, it really prevails.
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- Africa Avenue by The Paperhead
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