Over Our Eyes – Paper Ships

Born in 2014 – Over Our Eyes is a four piece from Baltimore, MD. At the time of recording, the band consisted of: Chad Wells as lead vox and guitar, Keith Smith Jr on drums, Nima Khazaeli on guitar, and Curtis Osterloh on bass. Smith has since left the band and was replaced in 2023 by John Welch. Their latest LP, Paper Ships, was released in 2022 by our friends over at Coffin Curse Records. The album has been consistently in my rotation since meeting the band and it was about time to give it a proper review, esp since they are opening for Diesel Boy at the Pie Shop in DC on July 6th. 

The album kicks off with “Bender.” With hints of melodic punk and ogcore, my head naturally bobbed along while working. I found myself honing in on the lyrics about being in the middle of a downward spiral; a relatable situation for many. This tune leaves a lasting mark as I continue onward through the LP. 

“Jackets” is the next track and happens to be my favorite. Extremely well written and sentimental, it tells the story of handing off your vinyl collection to your child. During that process, all of the memories associated with those records come flooding back and for a brief moment we all sit together in those echos of our past lives listening in our rooms. As I watch my own kiddo devour the music of my youth, the line, “I gave you the map to some place I can’t get back to, just in case you need it half as much as I did,” will stick with me forever.  

“Paper Ships” is the album’s namesake and begins with a rhythmic guitar riff and Wells’ gruff vocals. Soon after, the rest of the band hammers in and keeps the pace throughout. Although just as lyrically robust as the others, this was the first song that I just let the music take me away without focusing on what was being sung. Some of the best drum rolls on the LP reside here. 

“10 Drinks, Blood Shot Eyes” brings the album to its close. It begins a bit slower paced, but the intensity gradually grows and builds before crescendoing into a halt. Condensed down into a little over two minutes, we are taken on a ride similar to that of a polished dramatic film and hopefully this road leads us home. 

Over Our Eyes has intertwined a sound that’s cantabile. but aggressive at the same time. The tunes bring back the 90’s energy that makes us middle-aged punkers reminiscent of simpler times. However, don’t think for a second that the lyrical content will match that vibe cos the messages are deep and often heavy. These dudes are also fantastic live so make sure to buy your tickets for DC!

Breezy McMullen is the Editor in Chief at PA and Find Out. In addition to her duties there, she is also a co-owner of Allegedly Records, runs Snubbed By Allegedly, and is a founding member of the international 

co-op, Scene to Scene. When she’s not herding children or musicians, you can find her in the woods or on a lake getting stoned…. probably. 

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