This past July, with no fanfare whatsoever, Edinburgh acoustic punk act Paper Rifles released a new single named Pennies For The Dead. Pennies For The Dead was released via digital download or you could buy a cool USB penny which came with some bonus live tracks.
Pennies For The Dead starts out with some guitar work and some light piano playing, immediately giving the track a thoughtful feel. Then Paper Rifles' fantastic vocals come into play. He has one of my favourite voices, whether he is taking a restrained approach or really belting a tune out. This is a protest song written out of anger and frustration for the terrible year that 2016 has been politically. The final verse really stood out to me. "You Say You're Sick Of Sitting On The Fence So You Burn It Down And Build A Wall Instead, You Tell Me It's Not Time For All My Liberal Thoughts As You Count Out All The Pennies For The Dead" - it is about being stubborn and only seeing something from one side of the fence and ignoring everyone else as well as the consequences. PR's voice is in full on passion mode which does a fantastic job of getting the point across.
The second song on the single is named Bad Blood. From the outset Bad Blood has a brilliant piano melody that I can imagine a crowd happily replicating at a Paper Rifles gig. On Bad Blood PR sings about how people with the most expensive education are often unaware of how the masses feel about things, thus them not always being the correct person to run our country. This song doesn't hit the passionate highs that Pennies For The Dead does but there is a lot more forcefulness and anger in the music. You can also hear a lot of emotion throughout the track, really showing just how much PR cares about what he is singing about.
Paper Rifles only writes brilliant songs. Here are anther two. Listen to them, learn from them, sing along to them but mostly enjoy them.
Stream and download Pennies For The Dead here: https://paper-rifles.bandcamp.com/album/pennies-for-the-dead
Like Paper Rifles here: https://www.facebook.com/PaperRifles/