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  • Gym Class Heroes "The Papercut Chronicles II" Review — 5 out of 5 stars

    Sun, 20 Nov 2011 08:20:36

    Gym Class Heroes "The Papercut Chronicles II" Review — 5 out of 5 stars - Exclusive review by ARTISTdirect.com editor and "Dolor" author Rick Florino... [an error occurred while processing this directive]

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    "Put this Vader mask on and take me to the dark side," declares Gym Class Heroes singer Travis McCoy during "Kid Nothing and the Never-Ending Naked Nightmare."

    Like musical Jedi, McCoy and his cohorts show no fear while confronting darkness on their latest offering, The Papercut Chronicles II, and that's precisely why it's the group's most diverse, daring, and divine effort to date.

    The Papercut Chronicles II slices and dices from the jump with the raging riff stomp of "Martyrial Girl$". Airtight fretwork from Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo adds metallic heft to Matt McGinley's roaring rhythms. A soaring solo mounts as McCoy slides into a focused and fiery rhyme deflating hipster egos, while exorcising his own vulnerability. The heavy hook elegantly pummels as McCoy exclaims, "This type of scene just ain't my thing."

    Gym Class Heroes don't need anyone else's scene. They're clearly above that.

    After that bruising and bloody opening, Oh Land's swooning chorus elevates "Life Goes On" into dream pop territory as a subtle bass bounce from Eric Roberts careens along. Gym Class Heroes have crafted the ultimate anthem with "Stereo Hearts," featuring a funky fresh chorus from Maroon 5's Adam Levine that's anchored by McCoy. Back on the dark side, "Solo Discotheque (Whisky Bitness)" is another dreamy deluge of hooky guitar work and a poignant, powerful refrain from McCoy. Everything blasts off into another realm as soon as Lumumba-Kasongo's massive lead kicks in. "Ass Back Home" bounces along on McGinley's jazzy polyrhythmic percussive palette. Neon Hitch's gorgeous line entwines with McCoy's rapping for a combination like no other.

    "Kid Nothing and the Never-Ending Naked Nightmare" remains the record's standout. It's schizophrenic at times, but strangely beautiful as McCoy opens up a whole lot deeper than a papercut. Each player equally shines, and it's emblematic of their collective prowess.

    It's Gym Class Heroes' fearlessness that leads them to conquer the dark side and pretty much everything else on The Papercut Chronicles II. Welcome to their best album and one of the year's best as well…

    Rick Florino

    Have you heard The Papercut Chronicles II?

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    Tags: Gym Class Heroes, Neon Hitch, Oh Land

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