CD Review: Paper Scissors Rocketpack

By Holly Elliott |

Paper Scissors Rocketpack is an indie rock band from Pensacola, Florida. Former singer of the Cripple Lilies, front man and songwriter Chad Bishop has taken a new approach to his songs of layered texture with lines reminiscent of something out of a book of classic poetry. Returning with a new sound, but not a new message, Paper Scissor Rocketpack brings Bishop’s poignant storytelling to a wider audience with the new pop-infused album Escapist vs. Exit.

In the last lines of “Mustard Seed Boat,” Bishop sings, “No need for hope again, inside my mustard seedling.” The lyrics describe the overall philosophy of the album brilliantly. Under the surface of Paper Scissors Rocketpack’s catchy instrumental pieces lays critical and somewhat bitter lyrics about overcoming life’s obstacles. While the songs may sound peppy on the first listen, on the second or third time around they play out more like an Arthur Miller manuscript, complete with unfulfilled hopes and dreams.

Although Paper Scissors Rocketpack’s admiration for ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) is evident, that aspect in no way hinders the originality of their work. The lyrics are skillfully crafted using unique parables to draw from life lessons and the symphonic sound definitely adds a layer of appeal for a broader, more mainstream audience.

The band members have all known each other since high school, playing in different bands together, like a family.

This may contribute to their growth toward a surreal and whimsical image over the years. Bishop has said that international travel and experiencing varying living conditions has had a huge influence on the content of his songs’ messages.

The band belongs to the small independent Minneapolis based record label Magnolia Recording Co., and sometimes tour with their friends The Get-Rites.

The entirety of Escapist vs. Exit was recorded at Chase Park Transduction Studio in Athens, Georgia. Notable music engineer David Barbe produced the album. Barbe has worked with well-known musicians such as Kelly Hogan and The Drive-By Truckers.

Paper Scissors Rocketpack is currently on tour across the southern U.S., with a more extensive tour in the beginning of Spring 2009. A new album is in the works and will tentatively be available in Spring or Summer 2009.

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