Certain bands are fairly easy to quantify. Many of their songs sound the same. The music lineup is set, and everyone has a defined role. There is nothing wrong with positioning a band in this way; hell, bands like Green Day and 311 have made a mint off that very notion.
That said, Houston’s own Paper Gliders is decidedly not one of those bands. The six-piece outfit is releasing its new three-track EP, Trials, on Friday, September 7 and is playing an album release party the same night at White Oak Music Hall.
Paper Gliders doesn’t even have a defined lead singer. Rather, various members of the band are showcased at the forefront of Trials. The album was written and recorded by a core of six musicians – Vaughn Chung, Daniel Campos, Jerick Alegarbes, Adrian Grammer, Henry Dillard, and Latoya Johnson. The songs were recorded and mixed by John Allen Stephens (Third Coast Recording Co.) and mastered by Brad Blackwood (Euphonic Masters).
“We wanted to release something that showcased more than one lead vocalist and lyricist while musically aspiring to evoke different moods,” said Dillard one of the band’s singers, who also plays the keyboard.
Trials – which can be streamed beginning September 7 and purchased online – could be messy under the direction of a lesser band. After all, none of the three tracks sound all that alike (save for the consistent presence of a keyboard, and different vocalists are certainly going to bring their own flavor to each track. However, Trials actually benefits from a sampling of tastes and talents.
It’s almost like three different mini-bands joined forces for a sort of local supergroup vibe.
“It was my first time recording with a full band,” said Alegarbes, guitarist and backing vocalist. “Even with a slightly tight schedule, everybody pulled through and we did our thing.”
That they did. Trials kicks off with “This Magazine Scene,” a nice, poppy table-setter that features harmonious vocals and a lively backing. “Petri Dish” is a nice bridge for the three-song EP, as it’s neither as up-tempo as the lead track, nor as subdued and introspective as the album-closing “Birthday Candles.”
“Petri Dish” is the highlight of the album, an Explosions in the Sky-like track, only a little more lively and, you know, with actual vocals. It is also a track likely to translate well to the stage, particularly with a lively crowd on hand Friday for the big album release show.
“My overall mission for this band is to create music with a fresh perspective alongside people that you truly cared for,” said Chung, guitarist and vocalist. “Each of the band members that were present for this record came from completely different backgrounds, but the vision was very much in unison.”
“There was a lot of passion going into the making of Trials,” Chung said. “We hope you can feel the elements of vulnerability, pain, and ultimately, love, that went into it.”
Paper Gliders is scheduled for 7 p.m. (doors open) on Friday, September 7 at White Oak Music Hall's Upstairs Room, 2915 N. Main. For information, call 713.237.0370 or visit whiteoakmusichall.com. 21 and up are free to attend, under 21 is $5, plus fees.