You know PAWS? No, not PAWWS. PAWS? The Scottish three-piece? Well if you somehow missed the recent social media shitstorm that followed on from H.R.H Morissey (or at least his people) supposedly threatening to cancel their show (or his own) because of a venue clash, then maybe the bands claim that they never expected it to draw so much attention is true. To me it seemed they were simply jumping on the publicity tailcoats of Moz – no such thing as bad publicity eh lads? With the imminence of a new album, it seemed all the more likely they were going for the publicity albeit as well as being outraged. Luckily, as it happens, this new self-produced second album can live up to the interest that a storm like that undoubtedly generates.
Recorded just outside New York, the band have taken their love of the 90’s grunge sound and moved it on from previous album Cokefloat. Where Cokefloat was a more lo-fi affair, this time round they have succeeded in creating a meatier, fuller sound and upped the game with a slight move away from the trusty verse-chorus-verse approach. Instead favouring some more interesting arrangements which include cello splashes throughout. It’s still fun, it’s still reasonably heavy but more than that it’s the sound of a band maturing and knowing who they are.
Opening track Erruer Humaine is everything an opening track should be – instantly satisfying and brutally catchy, it grabs your attention right away. Tongues is an anthemic poppy number that recalls fellow Scots Idlewild. With what could be a Sylvia Plath reference Owls Talons Clenching My Heart has the singalong chorus of “So I don’t wanna fool around with your heart” and this lyrical gloom is apparent throughout the album with Taylor’s lyrics referencing the joys and, more often, the pains of being ‘young’. Album finale track War Cry lives up to it’s title. A sprawling, near twelve minute monster that evokes the Albini production on In Utero with the drums really powering through the mix.
All in all, a solid second album and without departing too much from their debut sound they’ve managed to create something altogether quite different.
PAWS Tour Dates
02.06 Cambridge, GB – Portland Arms *TICKETS!*
03.06 Birmingham,GB – Sunflower Lounge *TICKETS!*
04.06 London, GB – The Waiting Room *TICKETS!*
05.06 Manchester, GB – Castle Hotel *¡FREE ENTRY SHOW!*
06.06 Glasgow, GB – The Art School *TICKETS!*
07.06 Edinburgh, GB – Wee Red Bar *TICKETS!*
20.06 London, GB – Camden Crawl // Drowned In Sound Party @ Underworld
21.06 London, GB – Camden Crawl // SEXBEAT Party @ The Lock Tavern
27.07 Deer Shed Festival, GB