spotlight ~ paper/boy ~ 'guerilla therapy'

Name: Paper/Boy
For fans of: Robocobra Quartet, Cloud Nothings, The Libertines

When I think back to being fifteen/sixteen few things of any significance come to mind.

Football until dark, my first solo trips to Belfast to meet friends, perhaps? The most creative plans I had were to avoid doing homework! Yet hidden somewhere in the tranquil hills of Donegal is 'Paper/Boy', a ferociously ambitious two-piece of that age, creating exciting, fuzzed-up punk with a message.

Unlike punk two-pieces who have came before, (Slaves, Drenge, Royal Blood etc.) Paper/Boy have no clear frontman/drummer dynamic. Instead beat maker Lochláinn Kelly and guitarist Joshua McNutt share both the stage and vocal duties in perfect harmony, the Donegal duo's equal enthusiasm breathing life into songs that seem both lyrically and musically mature beyond their young years.

Having caught them at a recent gig up North, the bands confidence was clear from the first fuzzed chords of Talking Heads' classic, 'Psycho Killer', before a barrage of original material already well developed.

Amongst those original tracks 'Guerilla Therapy's gently swinging verses and Libertines-y chorus stood out a mile. The dry wit of the lyric shows tremendous promise too, songwriter Lochláinn Kelly's emo-tinged knack for a one-liner evoking the same sort of maudlin prose Dylan Baldi made his own on Cloud Nothing's debut 'Turning Off'.

"I don't believe in god, I'm my only saviour...she's trying to climb inside of me"

Indeed the similarities between the two projects seem intertwined at times, both have a passion for the rougher edges of indie, whilst holding on to the pop melodies of the bands which inspired them. In Paper/Boy's case, this is the likes of Bell X1, Radiohead and most devotedly, Car Seat Headrest, the emotional boundaries of Kelly's prose becoming all the more obvious with each reference point.

Provided they continue to channel their inner-punks in the polite, articulate manner they have so far, anything could happen to Paper/Boy. Their bare wit captured the crowd at their most recent gig, whilst the energy kept them there.

Though few musicians manage to hang on to the same band they were in since the age of fifteen, Paper/Boy have something undeniably exciting. You can be sure these two young punks will be dishing out tinnitus for years to come.

Taylor Johnson

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