Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Paper Lions / I Am The World Trade Center Split 12"

Here is the Paper Lions side: Paper Lions split with IATWTC

Here is the IATWTC side: I Am The World Trade Center split with Paper Lions

Also, you can always find the first Paper Lions album here: Paper Lions - The Symptom And The Sick

It's a rare but amazing thing when you are into a band that broke up a long time ago, and somehow years later you find a release by the artist you previously never knew existed. I can be a little out of the loop sometimes, but when I was in CD Alley in Chapel Hill last month, I found this Paper Lions split 12" with Athens' I Am The World Trade Center on Doubling Cube Records in their used bin. I never knew Paper Lions released anything other than their first album, and some of their best songs as well! They were definitely a band on an exponential curve, it was a shame they had to implode so early. This 12" has them refining their sound into a proper postpunk dance/disco outfit, much like "Solid Gold" era Gang of Four or Magazine but completely modern and ripe for a breakthrough. Instead they broke up and went their separate ways - Jesse Smith into Carbonas/Gentleman Jesse, etc., everyone else going into various projects and duties including Teenage Meth Lab, Chris playing bass for Maserati, and Josh playing drums with Elf Power. I have always liked the bands associated with this crew, whether it be The Kossabone Red, Some Soviet Station, At the Price of the Union, or any of their current bands, they have always put out great music.

I Am The World Trade Center has plenty of history to go around, and I was always an outsider to that scene in Athens so I am not going to expound on them too much. I always liked their version of Human League's "Don't You Want Me", which was always a party starter at their shows, so I'm glad they recorded it for this split. You can find Dan Geller from IATWTC playing in Ruby Isle and running the re-launched Kindercore Records, one of the great local labels of the past 20 years.

Here is what Doubling Cube had to say about the release:

I am the World Trade Center (IATWTC) and the Paper Lions team up for an exclusive vinyl split 12" EP released jointly by Echelon Productions and Doubling Cube Records. IATWTC kicks off the A side with "No Expectations", a track pulled from their fulll length, The Cover Up, and which signals to their maturing as a band, though still rooted in the beat-and-hook pop electronica of their previous efforts.

Following are a pair of covers; a sublime Minority Report remix of the IATWTC’s rendition of the Stone Roses’ "Shoot You Down", and an interpretation of Human League’s "Don’t You Want Me", which has long been a favorite at their shows and now finally appears on record.

Over the last few years, IATWTC has traveled the globe, spreading their message of dance music for smart people — a concept scarce in these days of progressive house and hand-me-down rave culture. They’ve found themselves in the company of other smart, young bands making this emotionally based electronica like The Postal Service and Her Space Holiday. IATWTC’s concept has also always included a healthy dose of romance as well, which goes straight back to their heroes in bands like Berlin and Blondie, where the onstage (and on-tape) chemistry of alternately warring and loving couples was frequently half the attraction.

On the flip side, with production by Josh McKay of the critically acclaimed band Macha, the Paper Lions burst out with their set of tunes, the explosive "Mission Statement", "Line-Up", and "Every Time", which features IATWTC’s Amy Dykes on lead vocals and hearkens back to the days of early Blondie.

When Paper Lions sat down to begin writing new material in the Fall of 2003, they found that their earlier inspirations of 90’s era post-rock had been shaken off - instead they opted for a continuation of the ideas laid down by early post-punk bands like Wire, Killing Joke, and Public Image Ltd... Paper Lions incorporated these influences into their already diverse songwriting abilities. The results of the recordings with Josh McKay were astonishing and a huge step forward for the band. These songs envelop the listener with urgency and tension, much like the first time you placed a Rough Trade Records release on your turntable.


  1. I Am The World Trade Center were the worst. Ugh.

  2. I didn't think they were so bad, but then again I didn't have to live in the same town as them.

  3. I think they were on tour together when one of the people in IATWTC found out they had cancer or something like that.

  4. They were both nice enough people, I just have zero tolerance for the concept of "making dance music smart" or whatever. Dancing is not an intellectual pursuit, it's mindless fun and therefore the soundtrack should also be mindless and fun. I Am The World Trade Center (also, it should be noted, a terrible band name, 9-11 attacks not withstanding) were anything but "fun".

  5. No way Gray! IATWTC ruled. I bought this 12" when it came out but never transferred it to electronic form. Thanks for this.

  6. I don't really have a stake in this argument, but I'm not sure you can say with 100% certainty that dancing cannot sometimes be an intellectual pursuit. I do agree with Gray that IATWTC (9-11 attacks notwithstanding) is a terrible band name. I thought it was bad both before and after 9/11.