Texas troupe Tripp Fontaine turns in a straightforward set of modern rock throb on its self-released debut. Despite "Spunk"'s declaration that "There's no time like the present," the song is ensconced in the Alternative Nation circa 1994. Boisterous guitar dueling, instantly likeable yet totally meaningless lyrics -- it's all here, and wrapped up in under three-and-half minutes. It's not the only craftily-produced morsel that would nestle nicely into a play list between Cracker, Oasis, and STP. "My Innocence" crosses the hard rock of Screaming Trees with sugared-up, 21st century Swedish garage, while "Soul" and "Burning Out" trade polished power chords for similarly shiny harmonies and some light touches of Brit-pop psychedelia. Acoustic closer "Stumble" lets vocalist Troy Baker show off his elastic vocal chords, but this is sort of puzzling, since Baker hogs most of the rest of Random Thoughts on a Paper Napkin. He does have a strong voice, but without the band's boom and crash, that he's not saying anything becomes even more obvious. Baker would probably agree with that statement, however, given the frontman-heavy era with which Tripp aligns itself. Fans looking for deep thoughts won't get them here. But if it's slick, surface-dwelling, interstate love songs you're after, Tripp Fontaine is buying the next round.
Random Thoughts on a Paper Napkin Review
by Johnny Loftus