PAPA: “Put Me To Work”
Darren Weiss, one of the founders of anthemic, indie-rock act PAPA, knows a thing or two about keeping the nose to the grindstone. During the all-important birthing stages of his band, he was pulling double-duty as the drummer in the now-defunct San Francisco rock act Girls. PAPA toured with girls, so Weiss slogged it out as the opener and playing with the headliner, keeping up an unenviable pace that would probably rip the majority of us to bits. Now, Weiss and PAPA co-founder Daniel Present are free to forge ahead, and they have some big things coming.
Weiss and Presant grew up together in Los Angeles. Weiss and his brother Evan (who played with PAPA, and guitar in Girls among many other projects) cut their teeth playing in punk and hardcore groups before settling into music as a profession (much to the consternation of their folks). The brothers eventually landed in New York City playing in the hardcore band Wire on Fire. The Big Apple experience changed Weiss, and the flavors of the city proved to be a major influence on PAPA. “New York enormously shifted my perspective, and my creative process,” said Weiss in a February 2012 interview with Buzzbands.LA. “I don’t think PAPA would have happened had I stayed in L.A.” Weiss eventually reconnected with his old childhood friend Presant (who was going to school in Boston at the time), and PAPA finally gelled. Weiss split his time playing with Girls, recording and touring with them, and working on PAPA material, including their excellent debut EP A Good Woman Is Hard to To Find.
Currently, PAPA’s working on the full-length follow-up to A Good Woman. But they’ve let slip a teaser single, that’ll give you an idea of what’s to come. “Put Me To Work” is a spacious tune, full of Springsteenian (an adjective that gets thrown around a lot in reference to PAPA) earnestness and pomp. The song has a driving beat, and the song seems to have built from rhythm up. That may have something to do with Weiss’s role as drummer/singer and Presant’s as bassist. Weiss’s low, tense vocals create create a song with the potential energy of a clenched fist, and the kinetics fly when the pounding piano hooks hit. It’s a big song, from a band that’s free to think big.