The Pavers

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Local 1500

The Pavers - Local 1500 ©1999 Owned & Operated Records
1. No Laughing
2. 1 To 10
3. Mr. Shepard's Bandage
4. The Trees
5. You're Sicko Dad
6. Oscillator
7. Humilation
8. Peanut
9. Tie Me Up
10. Scary Eyes
11. Bleach
12. Bilge Rat
13. Mysterious
14. Breakfast
15. Pig
16. Silver Moon

Though afflicted with something referred to as the Curse of the Ex-ALL Singer, Scott Reynolds has provided us with three incredible records in the time since leaving ALL. Each record - two as Goodbye Harry and now this one as The Pavers - features a different lineup (hence the curse) and yet Reynolds' knack for writing strong rock music has only seemed to have gotten stronger in the past few years. In one fell swoop The Pavers have outdone ALL and challenged them to try to come up with something better this spring. But don't assume animosity between Reynolds and his former band since ALL's Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton produced this record and released it on their own label. The Pavers, originating from the Buffalo New York area, simply do one thing and do it well: Rock. Maintaining a high degree of energy and enthusiasm throughout the record, the first nine tracks are particularly pleasing. Whether doing it with a melody (as on "1 to 10"), spitfire vocals (Scott blazes through lyrics at warp speed on "The Trees") or snappy guitar lines ("Mr Shepards Bondage"), The Pavers do nothing more and nothing less than knock over all the barriers. Much of the material sounds like an extension from the last Goodbye Harry album, I Can Smoke!, with perhaps fewer detours and sidesteps stylistically. Scott's singing is very much edgier than ever before, almost approaching the brink of madcap insanity at times. Even supposedly silly songs like "Tie Me Up" work incredibly well, using both a groovy guitar melody and Scott's unique sense of cadence vocally. Local 1500 is the type of record you play once and immediately have four songs in your head for days. Better yet, each listen afterwards will be just as good. The Pavers should be on your wish list if you have any desire for rock n roll done right. And if you don't desire that, you probably should be checking out www.manheimsteamroller.com.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/1999

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Beautiful EP

The Pavers - Beautiful EP ©2001 Boss Tuneage
1. Joan's Neighbor
2. Little Bitch
3. Beautiful
4. 57 Franklin
5. Tacoma Narrows
6. Message

By jove, but Scott Reynolds may have finally shed the "curse of the ex-ALL singer" by having now released two albums in a row with the same lineup. Beautiful, albeit brief, is a solid six song EP that aptly follows up the band's 1999 debut, Local 1500. This EP does demonstrate, without a doubt, that Reynolds finally has found a very form fitting backing band with the Pavers. The songs are generally within the pop-punk area, but with a better sense of dynamics than nearly any other band given that association. The two guitars are thick, play nice with others and tend to have an anthemic nature to the riffing. As with Local 1500, the songs have an inherently memorable nature to them. In the end, Beautiful simply creates a burning hunger for another full length from the Pavers. Definitely recommended for fans of ALL and Goodbye Harry as well as those looking for growth from the typical Fat Wreck Chords world of catchy punk music.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/2001

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Wrecking Ball EP

The Pavers - Wrecking Ball EP ©2002 CI Records
1. Wrecking Ball
2. Joan's Neighbor
3. '57 Franklin
4. Emma Lee
5. I Don't Wanna Grow Up
6. Message
7. Mary

I don't understand the world of melodic, poppy punk. There are so many bands out there playing a watered down, generic, overly simplistic version of the style that I am forced to refer to them simply as "kidpunk". I haven't a clue how some of these bands ever get a studio budget, let alone an album deal, as they offer nothing but an imitation of an imitation of an overplayed subgenre. Yet certain bands overpopulate the skate festivals, drawing the attention of all those little teenagers searching for identity in life. Meanwhile, as they conform to the kidpunk standard of being "different", certain exceptional bands slip right under the radar to toil away in obscurity. Case in point: The Pavers.

By now, everyone should know the story behind the Pavers. The band features a certain group of Buffalo, New York, musicians who have paid their dues playing in small, local bands until finally reformulating as the Pavers. Since then, they have released a full length album and an EP that offer a hearty, healthy dose of rock mixed with the energy of prime melodic punk. Oh yeah, and they recruited some obscure bloke named Scott Reynolds to sing.

Perhaps due to lack of marketing or a higher profile, The Pavers seem to slip by the consciousness of little punker pukes who would rather be spoonfed generic Fat Wreck Chords. One would think that with a title like Wrecking Ball, this would be a natural for that particular record label, but apparently Fat Mike isn't savvy enough to know a good thing when he hears it. That's right, Mike. I'm calling you out for poor taste and foresight. When the Pavers take over the world and tour with U2 and Silverchair, you'll regret overlooking this outfit.

Wrecking Ball is a very short EP that will hopefully be easier for fans to find than their last very short EP, Beautiful. The aggravating aspect of this new EP is that several songs are shared by the two EPs. Desparate fans such as myself would love to hear more new material since we know the Pavers are immensely prolific lads who have tons of new songs just waiting for a recording session. However, the EP becomes vital for two reasons: "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" and a new version of "Mary". The former track is a Tom Waits cover and sums up existence for the majority of us who are nearing or in our 30s and have no use for giving up and buying the Fleetwood Mac box set. The Pavers' version of "Mary" utterly smokes and while relatively faithful to the original version recorded with ALL, offers a new flavor and power.

So maybe this EP is short and makes the ardent fan that much more anxious for a full length release, but it is still a great listen. Except for maybe Bad Religion, there aren't many current acts who can play a melodic, punky form of rock music and still sound vibrant. Hopefully a label of some repute and distribution power will get a clue and get behind America's best obscure act. After all, Scott really needs to be able to afford a new hat and pair of pants.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 06/2002

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Return To The Island Of No Return

The Pavers - Return To The Island Of No Return ©2002 Boss Tuneage
1. Return To The Island Of No Return
2. Mr. Falkhurst, I Like Your Daughter
3. 4B 10Zone
4. Red Suzuki
5. Deer Street
6. Teacup
7. Fierce Apple
8. Run Away Hollie
9. Thank You Mr. Hollywood Fancypants
10. Split Shifter
11. Flight 15
12. Ruiner
13. Jimmy Misses Sarah
14. Backwards

Everything about this release sucks.

That's right. You read correctly. Everything about this release sucks. But before you go scrambling for your email program to tell me what a twit I am, hear me out. It sucks that the Pavers, who are currently one of the best bands out there playing a melodic form of punky rock, are relegated to smalltime label status. It sucks that they aren't getting a lucky, Offspring-esque break and have a catchy song like, oh, "Mr. Falkhurst, I Like Your Daughter" get massive radio play. It sucks that more girls don't come to their show with the sole intention of dancing topless, particularly in Denver when I see the band live. Okay, so the last part I made up, but the rest holds true.

But the good news is that the five men who make up the Pavers are dedicated to making great music, regardless of their circumstance or what may or may not be fair in life. Return to the Island of No Return, their second actual full length (following up a pair of fun EPs), is a fourteen song affair that utterly and completely places the Pavers in a new light. Since the band has been playing together for a number of years now, one can finally hear the great chemistry and energy within the band. Better yet, the band has expanded their songwriting motif to include a broader range of influence, so one is not subjected to a series of soundalike tracks passing themselves off as different songs. In other words, these guys have progressed.

Return to the Island of No Return, as I said earlier, shows the Pavers expanding their horizons quite a bit. The album contains both the fast paced, punky anthems as well as songs based on acoustic guitar. Moreover, the songs themselves show a much stronger sense of arrangement with the band intermixing hardcore and softer, moodier segments. Moreover, Scott Reynold's vocals cover a wider territory than ever before, from the edgy terror of the title track to singalong parts to scat segments. Most importantly, half the time Scott sounds like he's losing his mind and on the brink of going utterly bonkers. Fans of musical mental breakdowns should take note. The thing that sticks out about this CD the most is that these songs are instantly memorable but in a way that suggests they will still be very catchy six months or a year down the line. Bubblegum, this ain't.

This album is, by far, the band's best release and strongest collection of songs. Word is they have a considerable amount of unrecorded material still sitting around, so the sheer prolific nature of the band is also impressive. If you liked the Pavers before, Return to the Island of No Return will have you drooling and if you haven't heard this band yet, prepare yourself for the some of the finest punk-tinged rock music around. Go to their website, threaten the owner of the closest mom'n'pop record store, but do get ahold of this CD.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2002

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Taco Or Tambourine EP

The Pavers - Taco Or Tambourine EP ©2002 Ratchet Records
1. Safe Boating
2. Broken Doll
3. She Is Vapor
4. She'll Do It

Taco or Tambourine is a brief little EP that was originally designed to be a bonus for fans purchasing the band's latest full-length, Return to the Island of No Return. The idea was to encourage fans to purchase the new CD at stores nationwide and send in for the EP, but this concept of increasing distribution through a street level, grass roots campaign turned out to be a bit of an unwieldly endeavour and now the EP is available separately. Regardless of its format or how one might go about getting it, Taco or Tambourine is entirely worth the effort and is a great little sidekick for the full length CD.

Scott Reynolds mentioned last spring that the band had accumulated a ridiculous amount of songs and only a percentage of them were to be recorded. The wealth of songwriting allows for the band to whip out albums at a phenomenal rate and not suffer in quality. The four songs on this EP could very well be included on the full length, but do stand on their own. As with Return to the Island of No Return, Taco or Tambourine offers a broad spectrum of approaches, the best being the somber, slower and moody "Broken Doll", complete with a mesmerizing vibe. The EP on a whole seems to be slightly more contemplative and pensive than previous Pavers' releases. But most importantly, the band's infectuous sound seeps through the proceedings like water working its way through the Titanic. Best yet, this music would kick Leonardo's butt in short order.

Just like the other EPs the Pavers have released, Taco or Tambourine may take a bit of effort to find, but it is highly recommended one goes through whatever hoops necessary to get it. Now we just need to encourage the band to record the other thirty or so songs they claim to have currently written.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2002

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