Friday, December 9, 2011

The Wrong Words and The Paperhead Take It Back

Trouble in Mind Records is a Chicago, Illinois record label whose sole goal is to keep the flame of garage rock alive and burning bright. Their two latest releases are evidence of that as you would swear you were somewhere in Northern California circa 1967. Both The Wrong Words and The Paperhead albums are psychedelic and raw steps back in time to a period when untamed riffs mingled with multi-part harmonies and the very idea of digital recording was farfetched. While it’s doubtful that either of the band’s members was even born in the early 70's, they certainly have a fondness for the sixties and seventies and it's written all over their record sleeves.

The Wrong Words, quite simply, have nothing wrong about them. Sounding something like The Standells hanging out with the Sonics while listening to the Stiff Records catalog somewhere in a warehouse district, their self titled album rocks harder than most modern bands could ever hope to. Unpolished, rough and unrefined, The Wrong Words are rock and roll in its purest state. Chunky riffs, jumpy drums, and half shouted vocals power this band through song after song. The results of all this ungraceful rock is a fantastic record that has as much oomph as it does melody and I feel as though this is why I can't pull away from the record. This is one three piece that rock, clearly always want to rock and will just about do anything to rock. The Wrong Words are an awesome band that should never, ever worry about anything post 1977 because sometimes being stuck in the past is a very good thing.

Coming for the exact opposite direction are The Paperhead. These guys are stuck in a smoke cloud of epic proportions and have been gone for so long on a trip that it's highly unlikely they'll ever return. Trippy, drawn out, hazy, and strange The Paperhead have essentially created an epic record of soundscapes and space travel. It's crazy psychedelia that wouldn't sound out of place on Haight & Ashbury in 1968 rather than 2011. Listening to their self-titled album is like listening to your Nuggets box set backwards while headed to space. This is bizarre but great stuff that sounds like nothing you've ever heard. What's truly amazing is that The Paperhead are essentially a group of teens that somehow, some way, have figured out how to be authentic as possible without having ever left the Country Music Capital of the world.

So there you have it, a portable nugget sized proportion of rather authentic retro-rock from two bands that get it, understand it, and live it. Whether it's the pop of The Wrong Words or the trip of The Paperhead, both releases will keep you entertained and wishing you could wear a flower in your hair and travel to San Francisco!

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