For those who like their breed of punk rock to be angelically abrasive and rollicking righteous with a snarling bite, look no further than this third release from Scottish trio PAWS.
Title track and album opener ‘No Grace’ plunges straight in with boisterous percussion and frenzied guitars, giving off some major pop punk vibes, before cascading into ‘N/A’ – a track yielding scuzzy distortion beneath a honeyed melody and an almighty electrically charged guitar solo.
‘Impermanent’ sees the return of PAWS’ pop punk sensibilities. The thumping tune is a reference to getting lost in the online age, “We are all impermanent”. After taking in the song’s stomping sonic arrangement, it comes as no surprise to learn Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus jumped on board to lend the band backing vocals for the track.
Reaching further into the LP, ‘Gone So Long’ displays faint hints of indie guitar hooks alongside the rushing punk sensations exuded by ‘No Grace’, whilst ‘Gild The Lily’ proves itself to be ones of the heaviest moments on the record with thrashing euphoric riffs.
‘Empire State’ is a short but sweet roaring journey at one minute and twenty-four seconds with lead singer Phillip Taylor urging, “I’ve got a writer’s block the size of the Empire State/A good sentiment always comes too late.” Merging into the viciously exhilarating instrumental ‘Salt Lake’, it’s the adrenaline rush needed to carry you through the rest of the record.
Drawing things to a close is the mellow and expansive ‘Asthmatic’. After sinking your claws into this offering from PAWS one thing will become certain, their ramshackle approach to delivering scuzzy punk rock drenched in delicious distortion is enough to make anyone short of breath.
Words: Shannon Cotton
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