Thursday, 23 October 2014
Album Review - PAWS - Youth Culture Forever
Compared with their first opus, Cokefloat, which was praised for its true punk-rock vibes, Youth Culture Forever, PAWS' second album, is a more mature approach to life and its drama.
For starters, Erreur Humaine is a reflection on the previous conflicted feelings expressed in Cokefloat. It provokes anxiety and portrays an unwillingness to enter adulthood, which ultimately sets the mood for the entire album. After all, what does Youth Culture Forever mean, if not nostalgia?
Tongues is probably one of the catchiest songs of the album and has one of the most cheerful rhythms. It tends towards the pop-rock side of their repertoire which is quite refreshing. Later on, you will find the same nonchalant spirit in Owls Talons Clenching My Heart.
By contrast, Someone New expresses a restless bitterness. Here, the insistent rumble of guitars reminds us of their original music and their punk-indie-rock spirit. Give Up has the same juvenile side, with its claim that “it's unfair” and is definitely an anthem to youth and rebellion.
Alone is a melancholic heartfelt cry that really makes you feel alone. YCF in the same painful manner, is quite special too. Here, no rumble, just the naked sound of guitar and a hoarse voice to accurately reflect the powerful lyrics.
By skilfully using their musical strengths in An Honest Romance, PAWS have found the perfect balance between punk, rock and pop music. The lyrics and the rhythm combined together with the mix of musical genres offer a brilliant and harmonious sound overall. Hence, the importance of being – sometimes – earnest in music.
Narcissist, Let's All Let Go and Great Bear are three songs of pure emotion and raw music. They are vibrant, unexpected and sow confusion but in an effective way. They bring out a sort of animal-like touch in this album and make you want to break loose and knock down some walls.
Finally, with War Cry, the band ends the album on both an absorbing and alienating vibe. This battle hymn lasts for almost 12 minutes, but it is not a simple tune. It is a full-fledged story, a feeling in itself. PAWS prove once again that they master the art of quiet and loud, of pain and relief. They prove that no genre is a burden and every resource provided needs to be used.
With album number two, PAWS are undeniably leaving their mark on alternative music history.
- Alexandra Andréoli
PAWS - Youth Culture Forever is out now on FatCat Records and is available on download, CD and limited edition vinyl here. The band are currently on tour in the USA, with a series of concerts in New York.