Paper Robot

Hellbiscuit (Wow Signal Music Company)

Not every band from Denton can be lumped into the dominant neo-folk, alt-country, punk, experimental and jazz/fusion/jam-band camps. Some of them just want to flat-out rock. Paper Robot falls squarely into the latter camp, though Alex Maples, Brent Nichols and Cody Robinson have spent their share of time in moodier outfits such as Starhead, the ambient folk backdrop to Ira Wiles' poetry.

With Paper Robot, though, it's more balls, less head and heart. Chugging distorted power chords, bashed drums and shouted or casually tossed-off lyrics about being bad typify the songs of this punchy, to-the-point debut. There's a real '90s feel to it, with the band sounding something like a cross between a less noisy Jesus Lizard and a less melodic Nirvana. Take "Cohort," for instance. With its yelped monosyllables and chunk-chunka-chunk sludgy riff, it easily could have been a Bleach b-side.

Hellbiscuit is a nice reminder that college-town musicians don't always have to be so collegiate.

 
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