In Jasper Vol. 3, No. 3: Record Review - Death of Paris' Gossip EP


"There’s probably a natural tendency for music criticism to champion the quirky and oddball, or the adventurous and epic, at the expense of the simple pleasures of surging choruses and indelible hooks. Particularly in a town like Columbia that hosts a relative wealth of indie rock outliers, a band like Death of Paris can feel a bit incongruous in their unabashed affection for Technicolor synth-pop songs that are more Paramore than Passion Pit, as well as their brazen bid for mainstream success. And yet, Gossip is a triumphant, a six song collection that hits the nail on the head over and over again. From the adrenaline-soaked opening salvos of “Give + Take” and “Shut Up & Kiss Me” to the aiming-for-the-rafters ballads “72” and “Secret,” the band demonstrates an extraordinary adeptness for creating the kind of huge pop moments that would seemingly fit snuggly on Top 40 radio or romantic comedy soundtracks.

Although some credit for the shiny sonic sheen should probably go to seasoned producers Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount, the band clearly maintains its own identity. Keyboardist Blake Arambula’s touch is present throughout, particularly in the stop-shift breakdowns on “New Blood” and “Shut Up & Kiss Me,” and the solid support of guitarist Patrick Beardsley and drummer Bryan Lee Bass gives these songs a distinctly full-band feel that was lacking in the group’s two-person self-titled debut in 2010. Still, the nature of the material inevitably puts the onus is mostly on Doyle, who surely has the powerhouse pipes to sell these kind of songs, but can often slide into the muck of cliché in striving for universal appeal. That’s about the only knock you can make on this eminently radio-ready batch of tunes." - Kyle Petersen

For more record reviews, check out page 14-15 of the magazine here: