The Glasgow lo-fi garage/punk pop trio PAWS gun it on their latest single, “Miss American Bookworm,” blasting out from the starting gate with a fast-driving, rhythmic, and vibrantly melodic romp. PAWS’ new album, Cokefloat!, released by Fat Cat Records, captures the energy and rawness (or ‘pawness’) of the band’s live shows, and per the title, is, as the band said, “like a sugar high,” adding “all of the lyrics are pretty much a documentation of the past two years. A lot of crazy things have happened in our lives – some good, some horrific…there is a strong feeling of positivity and hope running throughout this record [like] light piercing through some distinctly dark times. We’re playing in this band to keep going and stay alive.”
“Miss American Bookworm” – PAWS from on FatCat Records
The album cover art for Cokefloat! (below) is somewhat misleading. It features a drawing of a wide-eyed young girl encircled by hearts and flowers, which, at a glance, implies the songs within would be something along the lines of light love tracks or teenie bopper pop of the 1960’s. In fact, it’s much more aggressive and rebellious than that, yet the overall sound is brimming with fun, jubilant, enthusiastic romps, Violent Femmes-like rhythms and punchy melodies. The band has an amazing range of genres and sounds they cover from acoustic ballads and screaming punk bashers to catchy indie rockers and indie pop songs.
Band members Phillip Taylor, Josh Swinney, and Matt Scott create fusions of catchy, fuzzy power pop with dynamic, energized, Violent Femmes-like indie rock that is thrilling to listen to. Part of the credit also needs to go to Rory Atwell of Test Icicles for his input as the LP’s producer. Cokefloat!, in our view, is one of the best debut albums of the year, and PAWS is one of the breakout bands of 2012.
The band’s name makes it more challenging to find information about them in search engines; one, because ‘paws’ is a fairly common word, although most associated, not surprisingly, with all things related to man’s best friend. Secondly, the band’s name has a similar construction of many other band names (The Big Paws; Paw Paws; Monster Paws, among many others). It will become easier over time to find links about the band if they continue to keep the momentum they’ve built over the past two years, albeit, mostly in the U.K. and Europe, and hopefully, poised to get more love from here in the States.