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Album Review: Paper Prisms by Simmer

Cheshire ambient punks Simmer release their debut album Paper Prisms on 29th February via Dog Knights Productions.  The debut EP follows two EPs, Your Tonal Mess and last year’s brilliant Yellow Streak. This time around it feels a little different though.

“Paper Prisms illustrates the constant burden of the insular surroundings of our local town” comments front man Julius Schiazza on the thought process behind the new record “It was the first time we sat down together as a band and discussed how we would transcend our influences and make our music progressive. We didn’t just want to repeat the same processes as our previous records, but the path hich we felt was right. We are always looking to evolve as band creatively, and I feel we are maturing drastically each day. I think the new record encompasses our wide range of influences whilst referencing other artistic elements outside of music, too.”

While the preceding EPs had an instant impact, Paper Prisms feels more like a slow burner. You could instantly recognise the talent and you fell in love with Yellow Streak straight away, this time it is hard to get past the initial likeness to Title Fight. On first listen it almost feels like a copy of Hyperview by Title Fight, ‘Antwerp’ especially feels like it could be lifted straight from that album. Simmer aren’t the first band to fall foul of sounding like Title Fight, Citizen did it with their debut album too. They went on to flourish with a superb follow-up and there is just enough of a glimmer of hope here that Simmer could come out of this smelling of roses.

The laidback nature of ‘Calendar’ is enchanting, while ‘Sinewy’ has all the punk bluster and oomph to create a real impact. Sure there’s more than just a hint of Title Fight to it, yet it packs such a punch that you can’t help but stand up and take notice. The more you listen to Paper Prism the more you appreciate it. Little nuances come to the fore making it sound a little more unique and original. Songs that on first listen sound like odes to the band’s influences, develop into their own and begin to take on their own form. ‘Charles’ and album closer ‘Crease’ are perfect examples of this. The latter is particularly strong and commanding by the fifth listen. The feedback strewn ‘Caliche’ is an instant standout track so as to is worthy of big praise.

It’s hard to not be a little disappointed by Paper Prisms. Simmer could have done so much more with this album and become a real force in the UK punk scene. For many casual listeners it will be easy to discard this album as a Title Fight copycat; that would be a little unjust. It’s more than that, but barely. It’s worth of your attention though.

AD Rating 6/10

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