Nick Piunti and Paper Holland

Nick Piunti “13 in My Head”
Nick Piunti earned my respect when I heard his old band The Respectables. Starting with the anthemic riffs of the title tracks its a collection full of multi-layered guitars, and it continues on “On The Way Out” where Nick reminds me of Paul Westerberg crossed with Bryan Adams. He slows slightly for the excellent “Good Thing Going,” with its great chord shifts and harmonies in the chorus. “It All Comes Down” is a heartfelt and simple rocker “as it all comes down to your friends,” reminding me of The Candy Butchers.

“We’ll be Together” and “She’s a Good Time” amp things up again, and not a note of filler anywhere among the ten tracks. Even the heavier guitars on “Sleeping on The Pavement” remember to keep it melodic. No ballads here, but the tempo varies enough to keep things from getting routine. I hope Nick stays “13” and gives us more of this excellent melodic rock.

Paper Holland “Happy Belated”
It took 4 years for Paper Holland to release this debut, which falls into the alternative rock category with Death Cab For Cutie and Nada Surf. Vocalist and songwriter Joe Tomcheck starts out with the pensive “While You Still Last.”  But it picks up steam with “Follow Script” a catchy theme that sets the tone and is one of the best songs here. The title track sounds a little like Field Music, with a nice guitar arpeggio leading the melody.

Some tracks feel a bit tacked on, like “No Going Back” is more instrumental exercise, until the chorus hits at the songs end and “Before You Go” sounds like a song snippet. Still plenty of nice songs are here, some standouts include “Rory” and “As Bright” boasts a nice melodic progression. Lets hope we don’t have to wait another 4 years for the next LP.

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