Sahan Jayasuriya
Happy Belated

Paper Holland at the Down and Over Pub

Milwaukee quartet Paper Holland celebrated the release of debut album "Happy Belated" at the Down and Over Pub on Friday night.

By - Jan 5th, 2013 10:56 pm

Paper Holland at the Down & Under. All photos by Sahan Jayasuriya & Lora Kosanke.

In recent memory, I can recall only a handful of Milwaukee bands who unabashedly play simple, straightforward pop. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of pop in this city, but it usually tends to get filtered through something else, be it punk energy, garagey production, off-key vocals or some combination of the three. This isn’t a good or bad thing, however, and I am immensely grateful for the wide variety of sounds our city has to offer.

Taking a slightly different approach than their contemporaries, Milwaukee quartet Paper Holland play hook-laden guitar pop songs that sonically recall everyone from The Shins to Death Cab For Cutie to The New Pornographers. Paper Holland celebrated the release of debut album Happy Belated at the Down and Over Pub on Friday evening.

Paper Holland live at the Down and Over. Photo: Sahan Jayasuriya

Playing to a well-populated crowd, the band performed a lively and fantastic set, comprised primarily of songs from the debut. Singer/guitarist Joe Tomcheck delivered his vocals with life and fervor, his pitch spot-on for the duration of their set. Guitarist Andy Kosanke wove a tapestry of intricate leads, managing to be memorable yet modest all at once. The sound was filled out by the tight and precise rhythm section of drummer Brian Szymanski and bassist Mark Yencheske, who both played with the same amount of reserve as the rest of their band mates, serving the songs first and foremost.

Their performance was spirited, well-rehearsed and impressive. Tomcheck has quite the ability to craft simple, catchy pop songs filled with clever lyrics and infectious melodies. With a solid debut under their belt, it would be in your best of interests to familiarize yourself with Paper Holland. Chances are, this won’t be the last time you hear of them. Definitely keep an eye on these lads in 2013, Milwaukee.

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