October 22, 2020

What makes Green Paper click? Pugs, love, ‘Fire’

Green Paper, a fixture of the College’s local music scene, recently released its debut album, ‘Fire.’ The foursome, from left, consists of Natalie Newbold, senior English major Michael Mendonez, junior international studies major Tomm Hart and Jeff Lane. (Photo courtesy of Green Paper)

By Julian Starr

They say the best things in life are worth waiting for. Ever since the world was given a taste of Green Paper through a two-track EP called “Bookends” back in 2009, we waited with baited breath for the first full-length from the New Jersey foursome — and Green Paper delivered.

On Feb. 12, the indie rock band officially released its debut album, “Fire,” the first in a series of five concept albums.

Green Paper is frontman singer/guitarist Tomm Hart, lead guitarist Jeff Lane, bassist Michael Mendonez and drummer Natalie Newbold, who all hail from Central Jersey. Hart, junior international studies major, and Mendonez, senior English major, are students at the College. Hart has performed at various campus events.

They have certainly grown a lot since their first lo-fi recordings, mastering nine new tracks, and one familiar one — “April 27th, 2004,” a standout track on the album — where Hart shows off his vocal and lyrical prowess. The band employs catchy, complex guitar riffs and vocal harmonies to create a distinct sound for itself.

Green Paper is like no other contemporary band — its pseudo-psychedelic riffs, clever use of echoing and emotional lyrics put it in a class above the rest. It is obvious the band took their time to perfect “Fire” — every part of this album is artfully crafted to produce a captivating listening experience.

Truly, that is what this album is meant to be — an experience. It is somewhat of a sacrilege to listen to the tracks out of order, but so rewarding (cathartic, even) to listen to the album straight through. Themes of destructive love and regret seem to thread themselves through “Fire.”

Green Paper is also quite successful in using electronic mediums throughout the album. The amount of effort that went into the production of this album is wholly apparent when listening to the intricacies of the recording.

What’s most impressive about the production is remembering that Green Paper is a local New Jersey band, whose members are four college students (Lane attends Middlesex Community College and Newbold attends Rutgers University).

What they may lack in notoriety, they make up for with wholehearted passion for their craft and the diligence to produce an enthralling concept series. Green Paper is going places, so get in on the ground floor while you can. Its charged melodies and members’ bizarre love of pugs make Green Paper a band you’re not going to want to miss out on.

Give “Fire” a spin. You’ll surely be itching for more from this up-and-coming local band.

This is the first installment of The Signal’s ‘Local Music Spotlight’ column, which hopes to give exposure to bands and singer/songwriters from the College and local area. Interested in writing or being featured? E-mail brill3@tcnj.edu

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