A horrible hack

The Paperchase - Red Worms’ Farm


Year Released: 2004
Format: CD
Label: RobotRadio Records
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Jun 13, 2007
Has to be said, Red Worms’ Farm (ugh) play some pretty nice indie rock. Similar to Burning Airlines and the shimmering approach they took to making interesting, inventive pop songs, Red Worms’ Farm use those bright n’ breezy chords to drive their songs and have enough nous to know just when to let one instrument drop away and let someone else have a turn in the spotlight. Curiously catchy but never taking the obvious route, these songs are enough to slap a smile on the face of even the dourest indie kid.

Now, I enjoyed Hide The Kitchen Knives a great deal, a patchwork of lurching neuroses staggering between squalling guitar lines, the murderous mumblings of John Congleton and the strewn carcasses of innumerable ruined pianos. Where that record succeeded in stringing the Paperchase’s collective instabilities together like beads on a bloodspattered necklace, the two tracks here (I’m discounting the so-so remix track as those things are never worth a squirt of piss…) sound a little too much like the whole thing has become too unhinged for its own good. I’m Your Doctor Now starts promisingly with its familiar spooky mansion piano and ludicrously solid rhythm section, before losing itself in a morass of overworked soundbites and half-ideas, ultimately twinkling out of existence as though everything was ok. Isn’t She Something? fares better, forging itself from a jumble of stammering drums and slippery guitar lines while Congleton harps on about something or other like he’s going to do someone a rather awful mischief. However, it’s not so much too-little-too-late, rather plain ol’ too fucking little – the Paperchase never really get the chance to build up a full head of steam on this CD, their songs clumping about without really making any impact which, for a band like this, not only does them a disservice but pretty much contradicts their very purpose altogether.

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