Paper Street Saints unites former Bliss 66er Cheyenne Goff with drummer Charlie Grover (ex-Sponge). They’ve obviously built on their previous adventures in the modern rock funhouse — Paper Street Saints features a manicured post-grunge sound that capably channels both the brashness of vintage Stone Temple Pilots and the slick hooks and rich dynamics of 21st century outfits like Seether and Switchfoot. Bands of the latter stripe usually get carried away with string section add-ons and enough compression to crush your car’s bitchin’ Realistics. The Saints mercifully avoid such nonsense, instead focusing on a straightforward mix of driving percussion and layered guitars to support Goff’s whispers and wails from the classic frontman position. Paper Street Saints definitely have the majors, or at least the mainstream, in mind. Sometimes the record can feel like a showcase, offering both the melodic tug of Better Than Ezra (“Under My Skin”) and louder than love urgency (“Chemical Girl,” the brooding “Break Me In”). But the songwriting rarely falters; they don’t rely on the tired quiet verse/loud chorus ethic; and “Procrastination,” “Twisted Gravity,” and “Something Better” pay off with huge hooks ready for swaying-in-unison arms. If Our Lady Peace can be rock stars, why can’t these guys?
Appears Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Alpine Valley ski area (6775 E. Highland Rd., White Lake; 248-887-2180).
Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.