Merging grunge with 2000s punk is always going to be a winner in our eyes, but Essex band Paper Fight have honed a particularly exciting, energetic sound that will have skater punks worldwide rejoicing.
The Colchester quartet only formed this year and have one single out to date, but have plenty of promise with a sound they describe as “energetic, fun and punky… Kinda like the 2000 era of The Offspring but not American.”
The foundations of the band were first put into place last year with lead vocalist and guitarist Dom Benjamin and bassist Scott Walker discussing their love of live music after leaving their previous bands. They decided to put some adverts out for local musicians, which led them to bringing in lead guitarist Matt Barker and drummer Tim Rolph to complete the lineup.
Our first taste of what they have to offer is their debut single Normality, although there’s plenty more to come from them soon. As Dom explains: “Although we’ve only been an official band for around 4/5 months, it feels like we’ve been sitting on these songs for ages, so we can’t wait to finally show people what we have been working on.
“We originally planned to release these tracks later on in the year and get some gigs under our belt for the summer, but Coronavirus happened and cancelled everything.”
However, Normality gives us plenty to get excited about from Paper Fight. It opens up with delicious little punky guitar chords that drop into an engaging verse of Dom’s high vocals “All your life you’ve been this way, Done what you wanted, Have a drink and stay up too late, Feel so lethargic.”
That feeds into a catchy chorus of “A little bit of honesty, A little bit of what she wants to see, A little bit of why don’t you grow up, Another damn apology for not fixing your priorities, A little normality is what she wants.” A big smash of the opening chords returns with big pounding drums and cymbals.
A second verse sees a cheeky little guitar lick join in and builds into another big catchy chorus. This time the guitar chords give way to a winding guitar solo, which drops out into the chorus vocals. It ends on lively chords and drums with a repeating little lick over heavier drums to bring the track to a big ending. Check it out below:
On the track, Dom tells us: “People can expect a mix of punk rock and energetic hooks just in time for the summer skateboard weather.”
Among Dom’s favourite musicians are two that I’ve met – at the same gig in Vancouver some 10 years ago – in Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon and singer/songwriter and former The Loved Ones frontman Dave Hause.
As Dom explains: “Brian Fallon is a massive influence on me. His vocal tone and songwriting are one of the best in this generation. Growing up as a kid, The Offspring were a massive influence on me. Even though I’m now in my late 20s and no longer a skateboarding pop-punk kid, it seems that they still have that influence over me.
“In more modern times, I’m really into a lot of punk rock bands and artists such as The Menzingers, Dave Hause (his latest album KICK is awesome!) & I’ve also recently discovered Scottish newcomers Cold Years & 13 Crowes – those guys rock!”
While in terms of what inspires him to write music, Dom tells us: “I often write about realist topics and events that have happened or that are happening in my life. I also get influenced by great singer-songwriters, movies and documentaries.”
And the good news is that there’s plenty more to come from Paper Fight, including new music and the promise of live music when things are back to normal again. Although you don’t have to wait to catch the guys in action.
As Dom explains: “We had a bunch of really cool shows booked for this summer but unfortunately due to Coronavirus they have either been postponed or cancelled.
We have another track that we plan on releasing in a few months, and shit loads of awesome songs that we can’t wait to come and play them live for you all. I guess in the meantime we will just be staying at home, writing more music, doing online live streams and waiting for the lockdown to be lifted so we can get out and rock out! P.S. Stay Home and Stay Safe.”