Paul & The Tall Trees are clearly intent on defying expectations. A sprawling ensemble similar in size and style to the Polyphonic Spree, the band incorporate brass and strings along with the usual rock regalia to create a dazzling sound. Indeed, a certain quirkiness abounds, and any attempt to categorize their sound is bound to end in failure.
Still, their sensational debut album Our Love In The Light runs the gamut from skittish rockers (“React”) and brash outbursts (“Crack of Dawn”) to lush, provocative outpourings (“The Little Bit of Sunshine”) and cosmic cacophony (“She Comes Around”). Elsewhere, “Can’t You Wait” is an exceedingly hyper, new wave-like tune. And when the band tosses out a spunky send up with “Next Time,” the insurgent attitude is all too apparent.
With all their energy and intrigue —not to mention singer Paul Schalda’s tendency to shriek when he’s particularly animated—Paul & The Tall Trees already qualify as one of those bands worth watching. The sheer cleverness and effusiveness evidenced in these grooves bodes well for future endeavors. If there’s any criticism to be levelled at all, it may be that the group’s ambitions may exceed their audience’s grasp, negating their ability to find any single song of the hum-along variety. After all, it’s generally catchy choruses that allow most outfits to join in the hit parade. Paul & The Tall Trees are far more concerned with overall ambiance to fit that tidy description. Still, those looking for imagination and exuberance will find Our Love In The Light a shining example of unbounded exhilaration.