Paper Tigers – ‘Flames’

Paper Tigers – Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Cover Photo: @bobloganmedia

In January, I speculated where this four-piece would stylistically go next. Now, later in the year, Paper Tigers answer with ‘Flames’. If you mosey on over – Here – you will find an introducing piece on the Belfast band as well as some words on their debut ‘Gucci Smiles’. ‘Flames’ is the band’s second single to date and is proving to be exponentially more attention-grabbing. But why?

‘Gucci Smiles’ itself is more than memorable but ‘Flames’ is truly something else. The band’s sound compositionally spans Alternative Rock as a general rule and plies it with a healthy amount of Hard Rock. ‘Gucci Smiles’ left the road open with a number of paths per its respective insection. ‘Flames’ opens via more evidence is guitarist Michael Smyth’s work with THVS (Here) and his experience within warped and progressive Punk and Hardcore but unto a stylistic tied to ‘Gucci Smiles’ in good continuity. 

I theorised that the band would follow down-tempo Grunge or Alt. Rock and alas I was only partially correct. ‘Flames’ maintains the soaring Hard Rock leaning (but not tied to) vocals but across a tempo, I did not expect. Paper Tigers near completely fall into Post-Hardcore-tinged Alternative Rock somehow in bed with the Punk-Rock that came prior. It’s not a timeline I wish to fathom but it works; oh so well. Short and notable bridges such as the ones between 0:31-0:37 and 1:18-1:23 respectively subtly introduce this new biting weapon to the Paper Tigers arsenal. 

‘Flames’ shines, glistens and burns away all over tracks that tempt your attention in it’s 3:10. The track as a whole breathes excellence but for myself personally, the final bridge before the soaring vocals do very much that above the cutting (by this point) Punk that plays you out is a huge highlight. The instrumental between 1:46 and 2:25 – echoes early Washington DC Post-Hardcore in the most satisfying way and sees the other 3\4 of Paper Tigers having their own little play outside of Hayley’s continued and flawless performance.

But once again? What do I know, eh? Paper Tigers now have a serious benchmark to surpass. 

Founder of Ear Nutrition, Matt is sadly over 30 and first cut his words writing for the now defunct site, Musically Fresh. He enjoys a variety of guitar-driven music but can usually be found navigating a web of Skate Punk, Hardcore and everything in between.