Paul Draper – EP 2

Former Mansun Paul Draper returned earlier this year with EP One. He is back again with, yep, you guessed it, EP Two. here's our track by track review:

Friends Make The Worst Enemies

Draper’s ability to make grandiose anthems sound twisted and brooding has not diminished one iota. This EP opener will drag you in into his world of distrust head first and scream in your face until you understand that he “feels like my life is imploding”.

The way he tempers bravado with helplessness creates a unique world light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t exist.

Some Things Are Best Left Unsaid

The tender, yet wayward vocal begins to forge a calmer path following the intense storm that is ‘Friends Make The Worst Enemies’. With this clarity though, comes a bout of regret through the simple yet damming line:

“I wish I had told you when we first met”

This line, like the song, is so simple and so effective. Commuters the world over will be glued to the landscape drifting by them out the window pondering the whys and hows of secrets they should never have kept.

Don’t You Wait, It Might Never Come

For those who grew up with Mansun in the mid-90s, they will undoubtedly have their younger selves and dreams sound tracked by the ambition and hopefulness embodied by Oasis’ ‘Live Forever’.

Now their youth is behind them, a sense of last chance saloon is something that will appeal to those whose lives have not panned out as planned. That’s where this track comes in. Four minutes of frantic desperate rock n roll spew out of this last roll of the dice and it doesn’t disappoint.

Friends Make The Worst Enemies (Acoustic)

So often, acoustic versions of the lead track are just filler. Not here. Draper’s solemn version of the opener adds much needed sonic ballast to this delightfully unsteady EP.

Furthermore, the softer vocal allows the lyrics to sound more like a tale from a deeply wounded elder statesman full of resentment.



Paul Draper – EP ONE

Feeling My Heart Run Slow

Draper’s voice hasn’t lost its edge. Noel Gallagher does big chord changes to convey escapism, well, Draper does it via his vocals on this track.

Draper channels his previous art with Mansun against electronic production from Underworld’s repertoire. Throw in a resplendent psyche guitar solo three minutes in and this is everything Mansun fans will have craved for a decade.

No Ideas (feat. Steve Wilson)

Draper is again on fine form as he creates a Bond-esque song. A Bond that is wired at 4am that is.

When they dark production collides with repeat of “because ive got no ideas”, this track becomes that much more sinister. The protagonist is oozing a deep lying sense of frustration and depression and has clearly had enough.

The Silence Is Deafening

Unfortunately, at too many junctures, this is Duran Duran. Some of the electronic production threatens to give this track its edge but never does.

Overall, two out of three is the message for this EP (not including the decent remix of Feeling My Heart Run Slow by Twiglight Sad). ‘FMHRS’ and ‘No Ideas’ both offer glimpses of Mansun’s past but, crucially, they propel Draper into where he is now. The last track fails on all fronts for TT but there is more than enough to be excited about for the album later this year.