Chicago math-pop masters Paper Mice return with 1-800-MONDAYS | Music Review | Chicago Reader

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Chicago math-pop masters Paper Mice return with 1-800-MONDAYS

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It’s been almost eight years since we’ve heard new music from local weirdos Paper Mice, but their brand-new 1-800-MONDAYS (Three One G) was worth the wait—it’s easily their best record yet. This time around, the trio blur the line between pop and herky-jerky math rock more thoroughly than ever before, stepping up the polyrhythms and bizarre time signatures that provide the foundation for their catchiest and most sophisticated melody making to date. As is often the case with Paper Mice, the lyrics on 1-800-MONDAYS are all retellings of newspaper stories, even though they sound like fiction. Album highlight “Trial by Fire” is about attorney Stephen Gutierrez, whose pants began smoldering while he was in court defending a client accused of arson—he argued that both fires were cases of spontaneous combustion. “Fight Spider With Fire” is equally incendiary; it’s a Darwin Award-worthy tale about a man who tried to use a lighter to kill a spider that was crawling on his car while—wait for it—he was filling up at a gas station. The songs’ surreal subject matter lends itself to the quirky, bouncy vocals of singer-guitarist David Reminick and enhances the loopy, jittery feel of the music. Contemporary classical outfit Spektral Quartet (who’ve recorded some of Reminick’s compositions) are featured on a handful of tracks too, adding a whole extra layer of gorgeous pop majesty to Paper Mice’s dizzying approach.   v

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