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A review of...
No Grace by Paws
PAWS go for broke with their third LP
PAWS return with a third album which sees them musically poppier and lyrically angrier. This is perhaps expected when you combine a young Glaswegian band with Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 (in on production duty), but what you get is a surprisingly cohesive album which is as direct and blunt as it is a complete blast. The band stick to their simple three piece punk aesthetic but everything sounds bigger and bolder. There's an air of The Thermals' grounded punk rock but the sound also hints at the LA excess of Guns n Roses (particularly in drummer Josh Swinney's huge rock fills and flourishes). Of course all of this newfound pomp is undermined by Phillip Taylor's politicised lyrics (see "Gild The Lily") and the sheer rawness of the recordings (Hoppus has wisely chosen to capture the band sounding thoroughly live, they've still got the sweaty club vibe going). In fact, when you combine the British and American influences what you end up with is something more akin to undervalued 90s rockers like The Wildhearts and Therapy?. Some people may dismiss this album as musically backwards looking, not particularly original or grundbreaking, but it's also an album that's hard, nigh on impossible, to switch off.
"Salt Like" - as much as this album has ample pop hooks and melody to spare, this two minute instrumental sees PAWS at their ear bleeding nosiest. Just pounding guitar, bass and drums working overtime. Everyone knows that a three-piece band is the best kind of band, and this is why.