This hedonistic ’90s soundtrack is like a messy college party; the sort
that the band probably dreamt about,
but only ever really experienced through glossy, coming-of-age films.
Beer bongs, sweaty fringes glooped to foreheads and trashed mansions
that’s where this happy racket lives and it’s difficult not to want to be
single-mindedly adolescent in its presence.
While the scuzzy punk pop of Paws’ debut (‘Cokefloat!’) was fun but mostly derivative, sophomore
‘Youth Culture Forever’ sees the Glaswegian trio conjure something bigger and bolder out of all that Blink 182 brattiness.
Recorded in the woods outside of The Big Apple, their glorious noise this time veers between those trademark bursts of heart-on-sleeve melody
(‘Tongues’, ‘An Honest Romance’) Paws Youth Culture Forever and something more dark and brooding,
which adeptly flits between thunderous clatter and pin-drop silence (‘Erreur Humaine’, ‘War Cry’). Paws Youth Culture Forever
However, despite the added depth those drawn-out deviations give their return, it’s still the dumb spurts of energy that best woo and lure repeated visits.
The modern legend goes that Lee and Travis signed the band to the resurrected Rough Trade in 2000 down the phone.
“I think they called up and played the demo down the phone, yes,” says Jeanette,
“which was really super exciting and the next thing that happened was that they sent the CD in the post and when I arrived in the morning Geoff was already blasting it and going, ‘come here, come here!’
So I went in and you know it just sounded fantastic, so we got onto them right away and said we wanted to go and see them.
It was the early days of the Internet and we were trying to look them up and suddenly something popped up and not only did they look really good but also they had these amazing rock and roll names that seemed like they must be made up.
What? They look like that, they sound like that and they’ve got those names? Is it a joke? If something is that good you just have to act.
I am going to rephrase that, you want to act, the minute you hear something that’s that exciting it’s just all systems go, isn’t it?”
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