Too many cooks spoil the broth, and the debut album by Paper Tongues sounds like it's been cooked to death. Stylistically speaking, there are several bands at work here -- a Maroon 5-ish funk group, a Coldplay knock-off, a Rage Against the Machine tribute band, and a Gym Class Heroes affiliate -- and the mixing pot never coalesces into something cohesive, with the best songs evoking memories of Linkin Park’s B-sides and the worst tracks recalling the likes of Limp Bizkit. It may be unfair to compare Paper Tongues to more established bands, but it’s hard to judge this album on its own merits, derived as it is from several generations of alt-metal and rap-rock albums. Paper Tongues’ early press releases emphasized the band’s wide array of influences, but this album can't quite synthesize those influences into something unique, with the seven musicians settling instead for simple mimicry of each genre. The songs are sequenced together in a manner that attempts to connect the dots between each wildly different song -- the ballad follows the rocker, the rocker follows the rap number, and the whole process repeats itself -- yet there’s still precious little consistency here, and the band’s by-the-numbers approach to each genre means they don’t get many points for eclecticism, either.
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AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey