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Paris, Texas: Like You Like An Arsonist

There aren’t many bands that can offer excellent pop rock yet still embrace the quirkiness needed to name songs after quotes from John Waters movies. One of these few comes from Wisconsin. A Trojan horse of a record, Paris, Texas’ major label debut Like You Like An Arsonist lures listeners in under the loose banner of pop punk, then unleashes quality songwriting and bizarre lyrics. Take the opener, “Bombs Away.” This song encompasses guitar rock, shimmering new wave keyboards, and a heavy metal crunch on the chorus, all seamlessly integrated. Add lyrics like, “I want to go grab a shovel, so I can dig up the devil, so I can ask him why,” and you have a track that acts as the perfect opener – both sonically and as a sign of things to come. Throughout the album, the music continues to rock, and does so while giving us room to breathe, interesting rhythms and actual singing. Meanwhile, the lyrics only get stranger. If Paris, Texas is considered a punk band, they are fighting a deeply internal battle rather than raging at the world. “Gemini” warns us, “Kansas doesn’t make a continent, it just kills you way out west,” while “Strike My Heart” presents the difference between heaven and hell as whether the singer will hear another fishing story from his grandfather or see the friends of the song’s subject. It’s the title cut though, that stands at the heart of the album. Driving guitars run over a thumping rhythm section, while lyrics of dreams and family marriage customs, such as gasoline-soaked bouquets, share space with the repeated pun, “I feel like an arsonist because you are my perfect match, and you light up everything around you.” It works as both a love song and a celebration of family heritage. In the world of Paris, Texas, it doesn’t get any better than that. Available at Atomic Records, Best Buy and Exclusive Company. www.paris-texas.com
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