SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #240: PAWS

From all music:-

A Scottish band who play with punk ferocity but have a remarkable knack for pop hooks, PAWS emerged out of Glasgow in the early part of the 2010s with a sound that took influence from ’90s indie rock and fuzz-pop. Over time, PAWS’ sound evolved from a more raucous tone to the massive streamlined rock of 2016’s No Grace, before scaling down to reveal their softer and side on 2019’s Your Church on My Bonfire.

Phillip Taylor (vocals, guitar), Josh Swinney (drums), and Matt Scott (bass) initially formed as a cabin studio project and started recording at their very first practice session. Following a small run of cassettes and a split 7″ single for Edinburgh-based Gerry Loves Records, PAWS released their Mermaid EP and then went on to tour for most of 2010. Their debut album, Cokefloat!, was released on Fat Cat Records in 2012. The record was well received by the music press, and their subsequent heavy touring in the U.S. and Europe — alongside the likes of Japandroids, Bleached, the Breeders, and Ty Segall — amassed a dedicated and loyal fan base by 2013. They then parted ways with bassist Matt Scott, and Ryan Drever was recruited to fill the vacant space.

Later in 2013, the trio traveled to upstate New York, where they recorded their sophomore album at Mice Parade-founder Adam Pierce’s home studio. Titled Youth Culture Forever, the record was released in 2014. It went on to receive very positive reviews and made many end-of-year lists as well as being nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year award. The band toured Europe and North America extensively to promote the release, including a well-documented schedule-clash with former Smiths frontman Morrissey. Completed in the summer 2015 but not released until 2016, PAWS’ mighty third effort, No Grace, boasted the production talents of blink-182’s Mark Hoppus. Following Drever’s departure later that year, the bass role was filled by newcomer John Bonnar.

After enduring a difficult period that among other trials saw the death of Taylor’s father, PAWS regrouped to record the quieter and more emotionally resonant Your Church on My Bonfire in 2019.

PAWS are a particular long-time favourite of Jacques the Kipper, and he’s seen them play a fair few times, mainly in Edinburgh.  I gave the band a passing mention in June 2015 as part of a look at some new(ish) talents who were emerging on the scene in Scotland. As I said at that time, I was late on picking up on them but became a convert after catching them perform in a tiny pub venue in the east end of Glasgow on the launch night of a cultural festival linked to the staging of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

I’ve decided to go back to the early days and feature and one of a number of very fine cuts from the album Cokefloat!

mp3: PAWS – Sore Tummy

This one also benefits from a guest backing/co-vocal from Alice Costelloe, who at the time (2012) was part of the London based group, Big Deal.

JC

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