A trio hailing from Nashville, fond of prog rock and old time psychedelia and turning to Canterbury for inspiration; sounds like a promising venture. Unfortunately, relating to The Paperhead’s new album ‘Chew’, the result isn’t as exciting as it might have been. Ryan Jennings, Peter Stringer-Hye & Walker Mimms went a little bit too literal in their love for Syd Barrett and the post-1966 Beatles, and, quite often, the mix with their hometown traditional sound isn’t as smooth and natural as it should be.
‘Pigs’, for instance, is one of the most explicative tracks, a bit ‘Octopus’s Garden’, a bit Pink Floyd’s ‘The Gnome’, and with a country mandolin riff breaking the harmony and balance of an already overloaded song. The only absolutely stand-out piece among the 13 of the record is ‘Dama De Lavanda’, witnessing the high potential of the band’s songwriting. They say never to judge a book (or, here, an album) by its cover but, unfortunately, the Paperhead’s ‘Chew’ sounds exactly like its artwork looks – confectionary that was once sweet and appealing but has now had its day.