Two years ago, PAWS, the Glasgow, Scotland trio, released their debut album, Cokefloat!, a splendid record of post-punk rock. However, as band member Phillip Taylor said, “It feels like everybody considers our debut LP to be ‘lo-fi’, which really bothered us as we felt it was the complete opposite by comparison to our early releases.”
For their next release, Taylor, with Josh Swinney and Matthew Scott, wanted to produce an album that was “bigger and louder, softer and quieter” and to “present the potential of our dynamic range more accurately than the first album”.
In many ways, PAWS have succeeded in achieving their goals on Youth Culture Forever. “Tongues”, “Someone New”, and “An Honest Romance” are post-punk rockers while the concluding track, “War Cry” is an 11+ minute epic that screams of Deafheaven. On the opposite end, “Owls Talon Clenching My Heart”, “Alone”, and “Narcissist” are more mellow tunes, where the Taylor, Swinnery, and Scott show their softer sides. There is, however, still lo-fi and reverb drenched throughout the album, so the band doesn’t completely separate itself from its debut.
With Youth Culture Forever, PAWS have produced a more expansive and more mature album. And while there are imperfections, it marks another step in the young Scottish band’s journey as a rock band.
There are bands that simply excite you and then there are bands that just blow your mind. Hamilton’s WTCHS are definitely the latter. After signing with Sonic Unyon, WTCHS released last month a five-track EP, It’s Not a Cross, It’s a Curse!
The EP is blistering, post-metal rock. Each of the five tracks – “Young Girls”, “Top Prize”, “Over Kilmer”, “Tiger”, and “Neil” – are relentless and exhilarating. However, unlike contemporaries such as Deafheaven, there aren’t any screeching lyrics, but instead the lo-fi drone of twin frontmen and guitarists Jag and Matthew Junk fills each song. They are supported by the shimmering bass of Dave Mater and the electrifying drumming of Tori Tizzard.
The band doesn’t play a live show until NXNE, but shows this summer are expected. Catch them live because the band is well-known for their intense and energetic live shows. As their EPs are mind-blowing, it’s unimaginable what they would sound like live.
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