Even though he’s just 34, I think we should already give singer-guitarist Doug McLean some sort of lifetime achievement award for writing well-crafted, literate, urgent indie rock songs that stick with you for days. He did it with The Bonaduces and he does it now with The Paperbacks. Preceded by An Episode of Sparrows (2003) and An Illusion Against Death (2007), Lit From Within covers a lot of sonic territory throughout its 32 songs. Highlights include the slow and introspective Good Lives (For Bad Reasons); the punky rockers Stars (For Claire Massey) and Make Art; and Math Damage/Maggot Age, which has a compelling darkness to it. It’s hard to find a bad song in the bunch. People might think a band crazy to release a double album in this day and age, but The Paperbacks pull it off with flying colours.
Published in Volume 64, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 11, 2010)