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The Paper Chase 

Now You Are One of Us (Kill Rock Stars)

Little by little, the Paper Chase keeps raising the bar for itself. Relying less on emo yelping and post-punk angularity, the band continues to carve a niche for schizophrenic pop melodies grounded in strong rhythmic sensibilities and songs filled with such staples as suicide, revenge, and fear. It's quite a niche.

"We Know Where You Sleep" starts with creepy piano-plucking that's unmistakable Paper Chase; it leads to some of John Congleton's best rap-singing and "Wait Until I Get My Hands on You," loopy with operatic samples. Congleton's foray into a slightly more accessible sound is suggestive of Les Savy Fav ("The Kids Will Grow Up to Be Assholes"), but the band's signatures are firmly in place as samples set the stage, voices strain to the breaking point, and strings drift in and out of tune.

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