Release Date: May 6, 2014
Record label: FatCat Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Garage Punk, Indie Rock
Glaswegian trio PAWS' 2012 debut album, Cokefloat!, was drenched in by-the-numbers '90s influences, the band working out angsty feelings with cathartic rock jams from the school of Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth with the occasional Weezer-ly hook thrown in for good measure. The multicolored distortion and sticky choruses of the album never got too far beyond their fascination with '90s indie rock, but were inspired enough to not just sound like rejected submissions to the Reality Bites soundtrack.
There’s a scene in Cartoon Network’s "Adventure Time"—a cartoon that embodies the intersection of interests between seven-year olds and stoners—where the main character, Finn, is frustrated by the old people who tell him he’s too young to know what he’s doing. Undeterred, he yells "Youth culture forever!" as he runs away to try something new. You might consider this when listening to Youth Culture Forever, the sophomore album from Scottish trio PAWS that comes here to both praise and bury youth.
Like Glasvegas and Idlewild before them, PAWS prove the Scots like their grousing set to an anthemic indie backdrop. The Glasgow trio bring an almighty ruckus on second album ‘Youth Culture Forever’, building on the ear-splitting success of 2012 debut ‘Cokefloat!’ while discovering enough new shades of grey to give EL James a run for her money. ‘Tongues’ and ‘Someone New’ show they’re still keen students of Weezer’s mastery of the quiet/loud pop-punk dynamic — and ‘An Honest Romance’ takes its cues from Pavement — but the fraying strings on ‘Owls Talons Clenching My Heart’ and ‘Alone’ (sample line: “why would you want to go to a funeral?”) reveal a maturing sensibility that takes them beyond mere ’90s alt.
The Scottish indie canon is as broad as it is deep. From the bubble-gum electronica of CHVRCHES to Twilight Sad's misanthropic doom-rock, all the way to Frightened Rabbit's Celtic-blooded jangling, it's a country that's packing one heck of a melodic punch..