Just My Opinion, but...

The Symptom and the Sick (Kindercore Records)
Paper Lions

By David Lilly

This might sound a bit lofty, but stay with me and imagine - just imagine - listening to the first Clash album with Roger Waters replacing Joe Strummer on vocals. Ludicrous? There's no arguing that point until you too give this CD a good listen. The Symptom and the Sick is the raucous, debut full-length CD by Atlanta, Georgia's Paper Lions. Generally, this music is primal with a genuine sense of urgency and a lead singer, Jesse Smith, whose voice definitely bears a resemblance to Roger Waters when singing the high notes.

The closest the Paper Lions come to playing a ballad, or assuring the listener that it's okay because they just want to make you feel good and they'll be gentle, is "Saints and Sinners." The song never entirely explodes, but threatens to by keeping the tension level just high enough to tease - and you like being teased, don't you? - for nearly five minutes. In the full-throttle assault department is "City Limits," a high-energy number that begins by jumping out of the speakers and doesn't let up at all for two and a half minutes. "Graduation Day Prize" is one of the most fun songs, due to the reverb/echo of the guitar and that good old-fashioned instrument we never get enough of, the car horn keyboard. If that sounds sarcastic, I kid you not, it's very cool and much fun.

You gotta hear these guys - you know you want to hear some good punkish rock 'n' roll - so get thyself over to


. Listen to samples first - fair enough - and then buy the disc, play it at the next party you go to and watch everyone get their shovels out and dig it.