Paper Rival

Dialog

[4/5]

When Paper Rival’s members first came together in 2005, they were known as Keating and released a forgettable pop-punk EP, Thieves. Fast-forward three years and one name change, and you find a completely different band on Dialog, the first proper full-length from the Tennessee-based alterna-rockers. Introspective lyrics examining everything from gay marriage to serving jail time for murder anchor the album, as vocalist Jacob Rolleston slips easily between melodic, Elliott Smith-esque rasps (“Cassandra”) and emotional yelping (“The Family Ghost”). Lush, melodic arrangements buoy the songs in warmth, while added flourishes like strings and the occasionally jangly percussion root what would be more straightforward rockers in the contemporary (and more importantly, relevant) indie-rock universe. It’s obvious Paper Rival have matured and feel more comfortable with their new direction. On “An Easy Belief,” Rolleston asks, “Are you happy where you are in life?” Based on Dialog, Paper Rival certainly should be. (PHOTO FINISH) Rachel Lux