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"......SPIN: Seattle Trio Wallpaper's Impressive Retro Debut"

Hey, This Is Awesome! Seattle Trio Wallpaper's Impressive Retro Debut By piecing together five decades worth of rock'n'roll's best, this band's new album is an absolute must.
Combining '50s twist and shout, '70s punk and sneer, and '90s garage-pop dorkiness, On The Chewing Gum Ground, the debut album from up-and-coming trio Wallpaper, is an impressive musical patchwork from the first Richard Hell-esque chords of "Rock Collage" to the freaky balladry of "Rock & Roll World."

In fact, Wallpaper's bouncy and homespun pop sound so impressed K Records honcho Calvin Johnson (Beat Happening, Dub Narcotic Sound System) that he signed the band just months after performing with them in Seattle. Brothers Derek and Spencer Kelley and their longtime friend Steve Potter formed the group in the factory town of Auburn, WA, and the guys swap duties on keys, guitar, and drums, while Derek sings lead vocals.

Wallpaper's sound draws influence from the catchy pop of the early-Beatles, the lo-fi ruckus of the Breeders, and even the twangy melodies of bygone surf-rock bands like the Ventures.

"Totalled," the catchiest track on the record, is a three-chord pop tribute to boredom with Derek shouting, "I'll watch what channel's on," as Spencer rips melodic guitar riffs and Steve bounces on the keys. "New California," at the other end of the spectrum, is Wallpaper at their most experimental, with psychedelic guitar leads and a thick Moog groove. On both cuts, the band skew toward reverence in all the right places, and keep it fresh by sounding like they just don't give a fuck.

Now Hear This:
Wallpaper, "Totalled" (DOWNLOAD MP3)

Wallpaper, "New California" (DOWNLOAD MP3)
- SPIN: By Joseph Coscarelli 11.07.08 9:59

".....Seattle Weekly review of On the Chewing Gum Ground... Wallpaper (CD release show) Saturday, November 8"

After listening to Wallpaper's K Records debut, On The Chewing Gum Ground, over and over and over again, I sincerely wish I could cover my bedroom walls with it. No, really. If I could always wake up surrounded by bouncy, cheerful rock and roll music with bongos and keyboards and lots of different guitars, I would be a happier person. A whole lot of modern up and coming rock bands seem determined to become The Band 2.0, with results that range from mediocre to disastrous. The fellas in Wallpaper, on the other hand, would rather hang out in the '60s punk rock realm alongside bands like The Kinks, with claps, bongos and a little Chuck Berry rhythm guitar thrown in for good measure. Not long ago, the Wallpaper crew (brothers Derek and Spencer Kelley and friend Steve Potter) self-released an EP, Pop Rocket (which, unlike On The Chewing Gum Ground, does not contain the song "Pop Rocket"). Then K Records decided to sign them and put out On The Chewing Gum Ground, and I'm so happy they did. I don't quite know how I got along without this album in my life; once you hear it, you won't either.
Sat., Nov. 8, 9 p.m., 2008 - Seattle Weekly: By SARA BRICKNER Published on November 04, 2008 at 5:04am

".......Strangely accurate Stranger review"

Remember the '90s? Good times, for sure. I'm not talking about the grunge '90s, though. I'm talking about the unaggressive nerd-rock '90s, the Pavement '90s. I'll tell you who remembers those formative years for "alternative" music: Wallpaper. Everything about their catchy, jangly pop rock suggests they should be playing in a garage on The Adventures of Pete & Pete. They've got everything you need to bring you back a decade and a half: clean guitars, bowl haircuts, that "we don't care about anything" attitude. Even though a lot of the time it sounds like they're trying to be the Kinks, it's attempted with such Gen X disillusionment that you could never really call them a '60s revival band. Fittingly, Wallpaper's new album, On the Chewing Gum Ground, will be released next month by K Records. - The Stranger: by JEFF KIRBY, Saturday, November 15, 2008

"......The Seattle Times: The band Wallpaper layers on the influences"

"In my eyes it describes us perfectly," says Wallpaper singer/multi-instrumentalist Steve Potter, of the band name he came up with. "We kinda take a vintage sound off these bands we all love from the '60s... " "Or the '90s!" interjects drummer/singer Derek Kelley. "Pretty much we take something from each decade," Potter concedes, "and then kind of paste it together, make a collage of some sort. Almost like wallpaper."

We're in the very lived-in basement of Potter's parents' house in Lake Tapps, a leafy exurb near Auburn, 45 minutes south of Seattle. An LP by rock eccentric Kim Fowley plays on the turntable. A pingpong table is littered with yard-sale ephemera: Super-8 reels and projector, a vintage typewriter, a Rubik's cube, a globe, patches and pins and pens and paintbrushes. The band — Potter, sporting an Anton Chigurh bowl cut and a cardigan; Derek, in a tie and old-lady sunglasses, a spitting look- and talk-alike for Crispin Glover's manic rocker in "River's Edge"; and his brother Spencer Kelley, the neatly trimmed straight man — is packed onto an old couch facing the practice space in the corner.

The trio has been friends since elementary school. Now in their mid-20s, they share a common aesthetic in both art and life, cut and pasted from thrift-store antifashion, post-Napster musical eclecticism and willful suburban pariahdom. It's a furthering of Potter's collage analogy, and it's all over this artfully cluttered basement, not to mention "On the Chewing Gum Ground," Wallpaper's debut released this week on Olympia indie K Records. With 13 songs in 42 minutes, the album is a precise pop confection spiked with sugary British-invasion harmonies and wily garage rock attitude.

"I swear when Steve found the name Wallpaper, it just all came together," Derek says. "We kind of viewed ourselves through that lens, I think."

"One of the other things in the formation of Wallpaper is we decided we weren't gonna do certain things," Potter says.

No disco beats a la Franz Ferdinand. No loud-quiet-loud climaxing a la the Pixies. No delayed guitar a la U2. This is how Wallpaper arrived at the bouncy, youthful sound of a band playing pop for pop's sake.

"We stripped away all the pedals, all the extra cymbals," Spencer says. "We might play simple music, but it made us smarter musicians."

K Records chief Calvin Johnson noticed those smarts when he first saw Wallpaper at the Sunset back in April '06.

"It didn't seem to affect them negatively that there wasn't a lot of people paying attention to them," Johnson says on the phone.

After meeting at that gig, he and Spencer kept in touch during the recording of "Chewing Gum Ground," but it wasn't until the day after the band announced during a KEXP interview that they planned on releasing the album independently that they got the call from K.

"We very well could've broken up and not had this record come out," Spencer says. "I think he [Johnson] really kind of saved us."

"It's definitely a teen-pop-rockin' kinda vibe that I admire," Johnson says. "They are a band with a very clear vision, a very individual aesthetic, and that's what I like. There's sort of an arty element — just enough, so it's not pretentious, but it's homespun.

"I think the fact that they're from a more isolated environment allowed them to develop in that way," he continues. "Like most of the great bands from Washington are from more out-of-the-way places: the Melvins or Screaming Trees or Girl Trouble."

Detached by distance from the trends and tastes of Seattle, the band vehemently defends its South Sound roots.

"People that live up there, they get wasted every night and start a band every week," Spencer says.

"Some of our friends down here are some of the most creative people we know," Potter says.

"... Who could care less about being a hipster," Derek adds.

"Our group of friends are just as responsible for the music we like, our sense of humor, everything," Spencer says. "I don't think if we would've moved away and stopped hanging out with them we would be this way."

"Maybe one day we'll go to the big hipster pie in the sky, but I don't know," Derek says.

But why not? According to Johnson, Wallpaper is "the kind of pop band that Seattle usually falls in love with for some reason, but in this case they're actually good."

Until then, it's blue-collar jobs in Puyallup by day, band practice in the basement by night and big-city gigs — like their record-release party at the Comet this Saturday (9 p.m., $5) — on the weekends. - The Seattle Times. by Jonathan Zwickel, Originally published Friday, November 7, 2008 at 12:00 AM


Wallpaper- "On The Chewing Gum Ground" 2009- K records...
listen to us live @ mms://media-wm.cac.washington.edu/dw/1/51/7f/7f328ae4-d0b6-427a-8d55-f0eadb1ecac7.wma



Wallpaper is comprised of 3 members, Derek Kelley, Spencer Kelley, & Steven Potter all of which hail from Auburn, Washington – a place just close enough to the ocean to make weekend trips and understand what the Beach Boys are about – they mix 50s rebel rock & 60s surf with the crucial wave of 80s underground music ending up with a sound like a hook-heavy pavement on a kinky euro-bender. The strength and allure of wallpaper comes in the juxtaposition of pop sensibilities with lyrics sung like a sliding shimmy but written with a call for a pop-cultural reform. With the release of their debut full length "On The Chewing Gum Ground", put out by local label K records, wallpaper has carefully crafted their 'pop rocket'......now just open your ears & blast off!