Track Reveiw

Paper Tigers
‘No  Ghosts Walk’

Paper Tigers complete a trident of electrifying singles with the release of 'No Ghosts Walk'.

Formed in 2018 by Michael Smyth, Paper Tigers have been making waves in the past year or so, their debut single 'Gucci Smiles' garnering the band a nomination for the NI Music Prize Best Single, and their tireless gigging prior to the era of livestreamed live music earning them a fanbase drawn to the group's unique sound. 'No Ghosts Walk' is Paper Tigers' third single release, and their most intensely personal to date.

The lyrics of the track deal with the pain of grief and the emotional wounds that death inflicts on a person, wounds that may be 'washed' and tended, but will always remain as a sharp reminder of that all-too-permanent absence of a loved one. The subject matter is reflected in the track's sound and progression, the band writing that 'the song is written to reflect the stages of grief'. It opens with a steady, heavy drum beat and some chaotic pedalled guitars that buzz like sharp static before culminating into a teeth-clenching riff that flexes its muscles throughout the first half of the track - the instrumentals taking us through a range of emotions before we even get to any lyrics. This intensity builds as the song progresses, and vocalist Hayley Norton sings expressively while managing to capture Paper Tigers' mixture of melody and fervour. The track climaxes in Smyth's screamed vocals, a feature which showcases the band's tendency to pull from multiple genres within rock in crafting their difficult-to-categorise sound, a tendency that sets them apart from their contemporaries within the band scene in the North.

'No Ghosts Walk' is, in the words of the band, a 'bookend' to the initial period of Paper Tigers as they look to move forward in their sound, and an enthralling read its been so far. We can't wait for their next chapter.

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