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"Papertrigger are a young Philadelphia band that make Art Rock— …the muscular, orchestral, dense, surprising, clashing sound of young men understanding the chaos of the world.

The group takes Radiohead and runs with it, occasionally appropriating a piano arpeggio here, and a blues-inspired chord progression there.

Instrumentation, dense, complex and often dissonant, is obviously more important to the band than the vocals, which are often placed far back in the mix. But on standout tracks, such as opener “We Are Nations Now”, the group shows the dark rock muscle of a group like Muse.
…There’s plenty of potential here. We should just hope the band doesn’t follow its more indulgent whims on their soon-to-be-anticipated full length."

- Dan Raper,


“Papertrigger make enormous music ... they go for it big time.” - Under The Radar Magazine


"Nowadays it seems as if big rock voices are few and far between.
Ditto with regard to supporting players who have the ability match the pomp and circumstance of a charismatic, if not over-the-top, lead singer.
On the very first downbeat of this Philly-based quintet’s rock operatic debut EP, those aforementioned concerns evaporate. Singer/ pianist Chris Manglos serves up a soaring vocal melody worthy of Broadway (or Wembley Stadium) in the rollicking waltz “We Are Nations Now” - and that’s just the beginning.

Papertrigger are all about grandiosity - classically inspired piano interludes, orchestral arrangements, cinematic guitar motifs, and, beneath it all, a pounding and flexible rhythm section.
“Fox Hunting,” with its Lennon-esque pathos and a time-tested descending chord pattern that’s worked for everybody from Willie Dixon to Alicia Keys, is the clincher here as Manglos moves from a full-throated yowl to a bone-chilling falsetto.
Though Riot Lovers is only five tracks, its scope is breath-taking. ‘Twas a time when rock stars were larger than life - maybe it’s that time again."

--Tom Semioli

- Tom Semioli,


"Riot Lovers could have been recorded in an old western saloon on Neptune.
Manglos' prominent classical piano style and the group's infectious indie rock sound have drawn comparisons to Beirut and Ben Folds, but Papertrigger's distinctive combination of soulful vocals, guttural baselines, and crashing drums is too immense to fit into any genre.
"We Are Nations Now!" is an operatic rock arpeggio featuring a raucous chorus, which could very well be sung by drunken pirates.
Fans of Portishead and Joe Henry will be enticed by "Fox Hunting," a steady ladder of heavy reverb where Manglos and Dwyer climb in a slow rhythm of melancholy vocals. The near-five minute "The Inner Party" feels like a noir detective story narrated by dissonant piano chords, winding guitar riffs, and an elusive saxophone. (* * * * 1/2 stars)"

- Adele Balderston,



"Local press began salivating over Papertrigger after the band moved to Philadelphia from Syracuse, NY in 2006. The project of five childhood friends, Papertrigger has released only one EP, Riot Lovers, since making the move, but it’s been enough to spark acclaim.
This five member band has a difficult sound to describe, as they contrast saxophone and piano with distorted guitar. At times, Papertrigger sounds like drunken pirates ala Blackheart Procession, other times they explode with reckless abandon like early-Muse."

for full article:

- Philly Edge


"At some point in the 1930s, a man entered a bank with his gun casually stuck in the waist of his pants. (Because it was the ’30s. And you could do that then. No problem.)

He went to pull out his keys, got them caught on the trigger, and nearly blew his business off.

The key word is nearly, because his grandson, one Joshua Taylor, exists. He and Brian James Dwyer, Chris Manglos, Andrew Honess, and Adam Smith make up the band Papertrigger, and their Riot Lovers EP is on sale now.

What do they sound like? Put it this way: If we were on a boat with a bunch of Vikings looking for some giant squid to kill, this is what would be playing. It would be madness, and it would be wonderful.

They say their influences range from Ben Folds Five to Supertramp to Radiohead to pierogies. We say whatever. Check them out live if you can.

They’ll blow your nuts off."

- Meredith Lindemon,


"Like a talent sandwich of sorts, Papertrigger was the filling center of an otherwise “meh” line-up consisting of the Diggs (unremarkable standard indie pop fare with stalkeresquely creepy lyrics) and Most Serene Republic (who started off strong but blended into repetition far too quickly).

The relatively young Philly band (both in terms of the band’s age and the members’) spiced up a late-late show, held back due to unfavorable weather. Playing the songs from their recently released Riot Lovers EP, as well as new material, their loud, full, diversely epic sound filled the room as though they were playing a show at the biggest venue in town.

Instruments on stage ran from the standards to the abnormal, including acoustic and electric guitars, upright bass, electric bass, bells, cymbals, keyboard, saxophone and a round tube of metal that they beat up with drumsticks during the last number. Trying to describe it at one point during the show, my notes read: “loungey, exotica, classic rock, jazz, everything, hah!” Even their clothes were diverse - one man wore a button up shirt and vest, another flannel, one in jeans and a baggy sweatshirt.

Papertrigger’s live performance is exactly what one would hope for after listening to the studio versions of the songs. Each member reacts physically to each note they play, enhancing the primal, animalistic qualities of the music.

Yet the lyrics concern everyday pains and responses, captured most acutely in “The Inner Party,” where singer Chris Manglos bemoans the mental state of many a 20-something, “I’m overqualified / I’m too good for this job,” and later, “this is not where I’m supposed to be.” If they roll through your town, then that’s where you’re supposed to be, witnessing this sure to blossom group."



“A raw, energetic rock sound that’s epic and sometimes eerie. Pounding drums and larger-than-life group vocals push their way through the mix to create a wildly aggressive and enormous sound.”

for downloadable podcast of the review: - NPR.ORG


"The last month or so at various random moments of any given day I find myself singing the words "we are nations now," the lyrics from a song of the same name by the Philadelphia indie-goth-prog-rock band Papertrigger. They remind me at various times of Supertramp, Genesis ("11th of Earl of Mar"), Jonny Greenwood's band, a little Minus The Bear and dare I say I even glimpse a few Floydisms in the mix every so often. Papertrigger's is indie infused artrock that flows like lava over blue velvet. (huh?!)

Originally from Syracuse, the band moved to Philly in '06, and they're starting to rip some shit up here. They're ours now. Papertrigger are Josh Taylor, Adam Smith, Chris Manglos, Brian Dwyer and Andrew Honess, and on their new EP Riot Lovers they throw down some seriously epic rock with the utmost confidence. You should buy the EP if not for the melodic bliss of "We Are Nations Now," then for the 11 & 1/2 minute Brian Eno-esque ambient bladerunnerfuturistic hymnal drone of "Sidereal." Wow. This is some crazy shit, kids. You're gonna thank me for turning you on to these youngsters."
- Bruce Warren, program director of XPN radio and YROCK in Philadelphia


(INDIE ACTS TO WATCH IN '08: Papertrigger)
"A tankard-sloshing collection of sing-along rock spiked with piano, sax and brotherly harmonies."

- Doug Wallen, Philadelphia Weekly





Philadelphia-transplants papertrigger grew up together in Syracuse, New York before migrating to their new home in the summer of 2006. Once there, the band speedily built a reputation for fierce live shows, landing them gigs alongside acts as diverse as Yeasayer, Dengue Fever, White Denim, Frog Eyes, Pattern is Movement, Holly Golightly, and The Cave Singers. During this time they self-released their debut 'Riot Lovers' EP, receiving rapturous praise from Philadelphia Weekly, NPR,, Popmatters and Under the Radar.

After touring the east coast and teaming up with Griffin Rodriguez (Beirut, Man Man, Icy Demons) and Brian Mctear (Danielson, MewithoutYou), Papertrigger have finally settled in to release their first full-length album, Snake Sale. Recorded in the band's home town of Philly, Snake Sale is a whooping celebration of life steeped in murky atmosphere and post-millennial tension.

The songs' dirge-like qualities have brought on comparisons to Blackheart Procession and Radiohead, while their epic ambition and animalistic energy easily summon the best moments of Arcade Fire and Man Man. But perhaps Illinois Entertainer summed it up best when they said, "Papertrigger is one of those bands that brings to mind half your CD collection, but is ultimately impossible to pin down."

Grounded in leader Chris Manglos' plaintive barroom piano and split between the growling and glowing sides of his singing, Papertrigger is as comfortable at a sleepy crawl as at a crashing crescendo, always with a swaggering bout of rowdy group vocals around the corner.

Throughout most of papertrigger's reviews runs a common thread of enthusiasm and adoration for the band's ability to put on a performance. T-sides called one show "exactly what one would hope for after listening to the studio versions of the songs. Each member reacts physically to each note they play, enhancing the primal, animalistic qualities of the music - a sure to blossom group." said, "Papertrigger's distinctive combination of soulful vocals, guttural baselines, and crashing drums is infectious; too immense to fit into any genre."

It's noteworthy to mention that papertrigger have known one another in some way, shape or form since the age of six. Catch just a few minutes of their live show or listen to their music and it makes perfect sense: they are unquestionably one solid unit, crafting cohesive and intelligent music with the ease of childhood friends building a tree house.
Daily Candy said, "If we were on a boat with a bunch of Vikings looking for some giant squid to kill, this is what would be playing. It would be madness, and it would be wonderful." Wonderful, indeed.

** CMJ 07
** CMJ 08
** SXSW 08