July 29, 2007

Review: Okay Paddy | Where You Went? [MP3]

Okay Paddy -- Where You Went?American television's popular adaptation of the British situation comedy "The Office" has improbably brought Scranton, Penn. to the attention of the couch-potato nation, but folks attuned to the indie rock zeitgeist have had a more pressing reason to take notice. Scranton's Prison Jazz label has released great records from acts including The A-Sides (now signed to Vagrant; set to release a sophomore set next month Sept. 18) and the brilliant quartet Okay Paddy. Okay Paddy's debut full-length The Cactus Has A Point was one of our eight favorites of 2006, and this follow-up is equally as satisfying. An EP is typically a way station between albums, but Where You Went? is more of an explanation point. There are some stylistic tweaks and the production of Spinto Band fellow Nick Krill adds more sonic depth and perhaps even a touch of the wacky (are those trombones at the close of "Dumbwaiter"?). But the revelatory tone of the EP renders irrelevant stuffy analysis of artistic development. The band continues to craft songs that tout the melodic strengths of Pavement and Weezer, and Where You Went? is a five-song, feel-good party record for the musically well-appointed.

It opens with "Dumbwaiter," a composition that giddily swings alongside twelve-string exhortation and arresting vocal harmonies. The mug-hoisting track seems destined to be the drinking song of the coming semester, and perhaps intentionally so -- it has been crafted by a band that practices in a bar owned by one of the principals [read our Show Us Yours #8 for details]. The lackadaisical second number "Trounce Him" is a solid strummer with its own bits of glory, including the protracted delivery of the words "Walla Walla" and the unexpected violin and sort-of-expected mandolin. The almost absurdly slack closing track "Open It Up" rocks harder than the rest, riding an "All Along The Watch Tower" vamp in the verse and just hollering through the choruses. That said, it lacks some of the color and intricacy found elsewhere. Still, Where You Went? is more than 80% indispensable, and we believe it can't be too long before Okay Paddy follows former label mates The A-Sides to wider acclaim. Prison Jazz issued Where You Went? last month on no specific date. Folks just turning on to Okay Paddy should head over to the band's Internet Home Page linked below, where you can stream the aforementioned The Cactus Has A Point [review here]. Here's an MP3 of "Open It Up."

Okay Paddy -- "Open It Up" -- Where You Went?
[right click and save as]
[buy Where You Went? from Prison Jazz right here]

Okay Paddy: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

No comments: