THE PAPERHEAD’s latest album, Africa Avenue, is definitely one that makes no bones about what is spinning in these guys’ collective wheelhouses. I’m picturing worn out copies of Kinks, early Pink Floyd and Love albums by the score.
This is the group’s third release for the venerable Chicago-based label, Trouble In Mind. According to the press release, the album is named after the street the band hung-out on as children. It finds a group looking back temporally both in frame of mind and musical approach. Boasting a warm and genuine late 60’s-sounding production value, thanks to the fact that the record was tracked by the group themselves in their bassist’s garage. It’s an album chock full of tunes that wouldn’t sound out of place scoring a Wes Anderson film with its era-appropriate British Invasion vibes; a sound that is obviously the most prevalent component here. The group however does still find room to incorporate some other influences between Africa Avenue’s grooves.
Some highlights include album opener “The Avenue,” which sounds like a Village Green Preservation Society outtake with a delicious Moog solo that provides the proverbial cherry on the top of the psychedelic sundae. I’m guessing this near title track opener is sort of the semi-conceptual framework on which this tight little suite of tunes hangs its hat, much like that aforementioned Kinks album. The album covers a good variety of sounds from the whimsical “The Old House,” to the harder-edged “Nasty Girl,” the lite kosmische flavorings of “Old Fashioned Kind,” and the gorgeous pedal steel-enhanced country favors of “Mother May.”
Africa Avenue is a warm-sounding and inviting set of tunes, if anything at times perhaps a bit too familiar. While there’s no doubt these guys have honed their ability to sound like their heroes in no uncertain terms; here’s hoping the next time out that they can take those sounds into a whole new neighborhood.
Genre/ Tags: Pop, Psychedelic, Garage Rock
Africa Avenue LP: Tracklist:
2.) Eye for Eye
3.) Old Fashioned Kind
4.) None Other Than
6.) Nasty Girl
7.) New Trend
8.) In a Corner
9.) Mother May
BUY the LP from Trouble in Mind – November 11th is the official release date !
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