PAUW are a trio of Netherlanders, who mix two different styles of psychedelic music very capably. That is to say, they have both the gnarly wildness of modern psych-rock and, more intriguingly, the whimsy and oddness of 60’s psychedelia. Macrocosm Microcosm is their debut full-length, out on Caroline Benelux.
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- Macrocosm Microcosm by PAUW
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 20 January 2016
Prog-tastic sleeve here with the band silhouetted against what looks like a yellow moon or some other planet. Inside the gatefold, someone has drawn portraits of the band. Nice touch and aptly describes what you might find within the grooves.
Musically this Netherlands three piece play the same kind of psychedelia that has reaped rewards for the likes of Tame Impala and Temples. They mostly remind me of the latter with their immediate poppy songs and compressed drum sound. Opener ‘Memories’ has a chorus that is catchy as a ball but which makes the wobbling psychedelia of ‘Today Never Ends’ all the more disappointing. This is the worst Tame Impala (i.e the whole of ‘Currents’) crossed with Jethro Tull playing ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. Implausibly the album was made in a pig pen and they’ve really utilised that natural corrugated iron echo, it sounds enormous. When they strip back a bit though I enjoy them more ‘Glare’ has nods to early Pink Floyd and the Three O' Clock with a lovely melody and wavering keyboards.
Keyboards are certainly a major factor in this bands oeuvre. they do seem to over use them a bit. Over on Side B ’Shambhala’ brings back terrifying memories of Kula Shaker and ‘High Tide’ is not a million miles away from the pop psych of The Chemistry Set. What we have is enormo psych pop with layers and layers of things added and no fear about being completely over the top. The mad progginess holds the record back a bit from appealing to the type of people who like Temples - it just seems a bit over-cooked to me but one mans wasp is another mans weevil so if you like wild 70's inspired prog/psych this bursts at the seams with it.
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