Album Review: PAWS - No Grace

PAWS - No Grace

As an experiment, ‘No Grace’ could go further. But PAWS continue to have fuzz defining their every step.

Rating:

Since 2012’s ‘Cokefloat’, Paws have been an archetype hooky, fuzzy guitar band. ‘No Grace’, however, takes a subtly different turn that at certain moments verges on pop-punk (a version of the chicken/egg question raised by the fact it was produced by blink-182’s Mark Hoppus). This album often sees them polishing that initial fuzz on a lot of their songs, with riffs that shimmer in turquoise and lilac.

One unfortunate consequence of this is a loss of Scottish charm - Phillip Taylor’s vocal has shifted. One of PAWS’ big draws is the fact that they sing in their own accents and have their own voice. The vocal on ‘No Grace’ already exists, and while they’re not here to change the world, at times they stop kicking up dust.

At its best, when it doesn’t take itself too seriously, ‘No Grace’ is a perfectly fun album. ‘Clarity’ is an all-thrills ride, and the opening riff of ‘Asthmatic’ is gorgeous when listened to in isolation. As an experiment, ‘No Grace’ could go further. But PAWS continue to have fuzz defining their every step.

Class of 2020: Walt Disco

Class of 2020: Walt Disco

Theatrical and aesthetically-minded, Walt Disco aren’t just thinking about making brilliantly weird pop music - they’re concentrating on the whole expressive package.

Class of 2020: girl in red

Class of 2020: girl in red

A queer icon in the making, a forward-thinking eco champion and possessor of a 400k-strong army of online fans, Marie Ulven is the modern pop star 2020 is calling out for.

Class of 2020: Biig Piig

Class of 2020: Biig Piig

Fusing intimate music with buckets of personality and a multicultural background, this Piig’s got Biig plans.