As always, Mercer’s vocals threaten to dominate the songs--each line could be the last in a prolonged, bellowed tantrum--but the mostly live-in-studio takes capture the skilled frenzy of Frog Eyes’ shows.
This release feels freer, though--not easier, necessarily, but delivered with a clarity of purpose not quite as muddled, consumption-wise, by sheer weirdness as was their previous LP, Tears Of The Valedictorian, for instance.
If Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph is not their best album, it’s certainly a close second (Tears of the Valedictorian remains their high-water mark for me). However, I do feel confident calling Paul’s Tomb the band’s most cohesive and expansive LP.
Paul's Tomb: A Triumph has two distinct modes – those slowburn instrumental passages, and the lyric driven, quicker, melodic segments. Frog Eyes succeed when the joins between the two really 'flow', when the segues work.
Mercer rants like the end is extremely nigh and songs refuse choruses, stapling together shattered fragments of classic psychedelia and the bits of Springsteen riffs that their countrymen Arcade Fire left behind.
It'd be nice if they'd push themselves a bit harder to break some new stylistic ground, as with a sound like this compelling, it's obvious that they aren't lacking in sheer imagination and songwriting talent to do so. [Spring 2010, p.63]