Wallpaper – On the Chewing Gum Ground (2008)
When I listened to the first track on Wallpapers debut I yelled a triumphant YES and punched the air. Now I’m not one to hark about nostalgia or anything like that but I was instantly drifted to the heady days of the mid nineties when Pavement, Imperial Teen, Number One Cup and Weezer were my staple listening. Wallpaper fit this type of sound perfectly. There’s the hooks, a little bit of quirkiness and a lot of fun bundled too.
Although citing comparisons like this are cheap, I can’t help it. These guys encapsulate everything that’s great about U.S. Alt, that bounciness, the urge to play air guitar, the want to jump around. On the Chewing Gum Ground is like some kind of greatest hits. If these songs were released as singles they would all dominate the upper eschelons of the charts – well if this was some alternate universe that is. However, YES these songs are THAT good.
Take the track ‘Totalled’ it’s starts off with a stop/start riff, then the drums kick in and the singer belts out something about televisions and catchy songs and then everyone joins in for a big wooo wooo chorus. It’s oddly uplifting and makes me shake my head along too.
‘On the Chewing Gum Ground’ is an alt pop masterpiece and makes a fine and bold statement for Wallpaper. These guys aren’t afraid to push a great melody in your face and have a sense of humour while doing it. Great stuff!