The Paper Scissors can lay claim to being one of the few bands to get their break via an Australian TV mini-series. For one reason or another, their cowbell-driven single ‘We Don’t Walk’ seemed to slot comfortably within the Mafioso dealings of Underbelly. That is where the similarities end, however. As their performance to a small but boisterous crowd at the East Brunswick Club showed, the Paper Scissors are far more than a one TV-hit wonder.

In town to promote their second album, In Loving Memory, The Paper Scissors delivered a well-drilled show that was punctuated by funky lines and a charismatic front man. A cross between Peter Garrett and Gregg Alexander (i.e. the guy that sings ‘You Get What You Give’ from those Mitsubishi ads), lead vocalist Jai Pyne has presence in spades. He also has a great deal of tolerance. More on that later.

Like most album launches, their set consisted of material fresh off their latest LP. New songs like ‘Lung Sum’, ‘Taller Than You Then’ and ‘Turn It To Gold’ were well-received and demonstrated the chops of a band in perfect synchronicity. It also revealed that The Paper Scissors are at their best when in full flight. It’s only when they decide to relax on the kick pedal that the mood deflates slightly.

Amidst the new tunes the band found time to slot in some crowd favourites. The sing-a-long vibes of ‘Yamanote Line’ got the pundits swaying blissfully within East Brunswick’s cozy confides. Closing number ‘The Bandit’ was worthy of a fist pump or two and, of course, ‘We Don’t Walk’ received the reception it was due.

Despite the relatively small attendance Pyne managed to keep things energetic by hand-slapping drumheads and booting some Mt Franklins into the crowd. Drummer Ivan Lisyak was also rather chirpy while bassist Xavier Naughton seemed content being the straight man in the trio.

Only two problems plagued an otherwise excellent performance; sound issues and a minority of VB sculling hecklers. It took the folks at sound tech around half the show to fix up a persistent murmur of metallic static. As for the hecklers, well, there is only so much that can be done. To his credit, Pyne tolerated their drunken jibes and played on dutifully. He even humorously jumped onto the crowd floor during the encore to give them a true up-and-close experience.

It was a class showing from a band that will undoubtedly grow in stature as whispers of their virtuosity spreads. As the missing word from their name suggests, The Paper Scissors do indeed Rock.

– Paul Bonadio