6/10 Brian Staff review, 30 May 2014
Not sure who Paws are but because of their new record I've become quite enamoured by the photography of Gracie Magee whose sublime imagery bookends what is essentially an early Cribs-ish display of Yankophile bluster and submerged student anthems.
It starts off almost like Ash by way of Lou Barlow. Quiet loud quiet dynamics with a bit of neo-Gothic string-laced classicism (this re-surfaces on a couple of tracks) but a slightly yearning 90's brit-rock aesthetic in the vocal trails. I can't be arsed giving a low-down on every song here - it's mainly built around impassioned but generic cookie-cutter indie rock; passionately played and reasonably catchy at many a juncture but I feel every rousing, melodic rush; flourish of compressed rockist dynamism and youthful whoa-whoa I've heard done with more aplomb somewhere before. I can well do without the piano on a couple of tracks. Keane boys....it sounds like Keane.
Kudos to the band for producing ‘Youth Culture Forever’ themselves. The rhythm section sounds dense and meaty but that echo-ey squall and distortion on the vocals is, ultimately, plain annoying and renders them a tad copyist and forgettable no matter about the general vigour and undeniable enthusiasm of this, their second long playing set. At their best they have the raw power and anthemic drive of, say, Drenge live; at worst this record conjures up undesirable images of The Vaccines in a wheelie bin......actually that's quite desirable.
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- Youth Culture Forever by PAWS
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