HOME TOWN: New Jersey
Posing the question “what kind of band are you?” to the members of Paulson elicits generally nothing but head-scratching and furrowed brows. For a band curious about many types of music, none of the traditional labels seem comfortable to them. Their flippant answer would be to call themselves a rock band. Here’s a better recipe: take the acoustic drum and bass of Lake Trout, Milemarker’s synthy nihilism, Ida’s vocal harmonies, Trans Am’s vocorder and At the Drive In’s intensity and you’re in the ballpark. Lest you think this band is too far off the charts, there are hooks as well, lots of them, meaty enough for the most discriminating pre-teen. As veterans of the New Jersey scene, the members of Paulson (brothers Jesse and Alex on guitar and bass respectively, Jeff on drums, Logan on vocals and Mike on synths), had been playing in various bands together for years. Their original style has allowed them to fit perfectly on diverse events with bands like The Starting Line, Spitalfield, Superchunk, Mae, Milemarker, The Jealous Sound, Fall Out Boy, As I Lay Dying, Hot Water Music, Hey Mercedes, Ozma, Senses Fail, Brand New, Piebald, Something Corporate, From Autumn to Ashes, and the Vans Warped Tour. In the Spring of 2003 the band settled into the studio to record their second CD. The six track EP, beginning with the haunting 11/8 “instrumental” Diaryland and closing with an eye-opening re-arrangement of the jazz standard My Funny Valentine, represented a leap forward for the band, both in terms of musicianship and fidelity. It quickly caught the eye of a number of labels and within a few months several offers were on the table. After a lengthy period of negotiations, the band signed with Kentucky-based Initial Records (past/present home to Ultimate Fakebook, Black Cross, Boy Sets Fire & Elliott, among others). The band returned to the studio, recording 4 more tracks to complete the “Variations” LP, which will be released June 22nd, 2004.