Paper Lions The Toronto Institute for the Enjoyment of Music, Toronto ON March 10

Paper Lions The Toronto Institute for the Enjoyment of Music, Toronto ON March 10
Following Paper Lions' afternoon set, I looked over my notes and found: "adorably scruffy PEI folk rock infused with early Weezer's whimsy and Vampire Weekend's winking erudition." After rereading it, I thought, "Is there anyway I can make that note lamer and more unjustifiably pretentious?" Nope. Moreover, the ill-advised scrawling hardly captured the band's shaggy charisma, all-in unity and deceptively sophisticated songwriting. Benefitting from the casual setting, the combo excitedly road-tested new cuts, tweaking structures and giving segments an inclusive practice-space feel. Conversely, older tracks were decidedly polished, melding piano romps, choral chant-alongs and incisive guitar melodies. Regardless of the laid-back room, highlights "Lost the War," "Don't Touch That Dial" and "Sweat It Out" still played huge. As it turns out, there's never been a more apropos name in the history of indie rock.